McLaren Welcomes Emma Gilmour as Its Inaugural Female Racing Competitor

Photo of author

By Car Brand Experts

Earlier this year, McLaren declared its participation in Extreme E, the electric off-road rally racing series featuring teams owned by Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, and Jenson Button for the upcoming 2022 racing season. Following this announcement, the team secured the services of American racing driver and television personality Tanner Foust. Now, the team is thrilled to introduce Emma Gilmour as McLaren’s premier female racing driver.

Established in 1963, McLaren Racing has participated in 901 Formula One Grand Prix races, along with Can-Am and IndyCar competitions. Throughout its 58-year history, the team had never enlisted a female driver in any role. While it’s uncertain if this trend would have persisted, McLaren’s engagement in Extreme E compelled them to recruit Gilmour in accordance with the series’ regulations.

The announcement, made today at COP26, carries significant promise, especially considering Gilmour’s extensive background as a rally driver with prior experience in Extreme E, where she stood in for Jamie Chadwick to fulfill her obligations in the W Series.

Interestingly, the McLaren car unveiling at COP26 in my hometown, Satire Island, saw the presence of HRH the Prince of Wales. Additionally, the esteemed female engineer Leena Gade, who is slated to become McLaren’s race engineer in Extreme E, was also in attendance.

The challenges posed by Extreme E are formidable, requiring teams to undertake repairs in makeshift tents with limited equipment and personnel. However, if there’s anyone capable of meeting these hurdles, it would undoubtedly be Gade, a three-time Le Mans 24-hour winner with Audi.

“Being appointed as McLaren Racing’s pioneering female driver is an immense privilege,” stated Gilmour in an official statement. “In my upbringing in New Zealand, Bruce McLaren and McLaren Racing have always been revered as motorsport icons.

“Competing with McLaren in Extreme E next season represents a unique opportunity for me. This series serves as an outstanding platform that promotes equality while addressing critical issues impacting our environment and society,” she added. “I aim to leverage my past involvement in Extreme E, complemented by my expertise in rally, rallycross, and cross-country rallying, to drive positive change and inspire the forthcoming generation of female drivers and engineers. I am eager to kick off with the team.”

Have a tip to share? Drop an email to

Leave a Comment

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!