In a thrilling testament to the future of women in motorsport, Alpine’s Rac(H)er Programme hosted a dynamic two-day training camp at Canterbury Christ Church University’s SportsLab on May 28th and 29th, 2024. This pivotal event brought together the programme’s young drivers, Lisa Billard, Lizzy Mentier, Angelina Proenca, and Sukhmani Khera, for an intensive series of workshops and training sessions designed to hone their physical and mental prowess.

The camp marked a continuation of the comprehensive development provided by the Rac(H)er Programme, a groundbreaking initiative by the BWT Alpine F1 Team aimed at fostering the next generation of female racing talent. The collaboration with CCCU’s SportsLab facilitated a rich, immersive experience where these budding drivers could refine their skills through a tailored blend of scientific and athletic training.

Participants engaged in a variety of sessions focusing on performance profiling, strength and conditioning, and endurance and power training. These activities were meticulously designed to enhance their on-track performance while fostering crucial team-building, problem-solving, and cognitive skills. The camp wasn’t just about physical conditioning; it was an all-encompassing effort to build well-rounded athletes prepared for the rigors of professional racing.

A highlight of the event was the expert-led workshops that delved into critical aspects of sports nutrition and psychology. Beatriz Pastora Linares, a Senior Consultant at SportsLab, conducted a nutrition workshop emphasizing the importance of energy and hydration management. She also led an insightful session on understanding the menstrual cycle’s impact on training and performance, a topic often overlooked in the male-dominated world of motorsport. Linares’s practical tips, including how to concoct effective sports drinks, provided the young drivers with essential tools for their athletic toolkit.

Dr. Katie Dray, Performance Coach at SportsLab and Senior Lecturer at CCCU, spearheaded a session on sports psychology. Dray’s focus on confidence building and cultivating a successful mindset was particularly poignant. Through engaging, hands-on activities, the drivers created ‘confidence pockets,’ tangible reminders of their achievements and a cornerstone for developing a resilient, confident racing persona.

Dave Thompson, Head of Human Performance at BWT Alpine F1 Team, lauded the collaboration with CCCU’s SportsLab. “Immersing our Rac(H)er drivers into another professional athletic setting with CCCU SportsLab was a fantastic opportunity for the Programme and its athletes. The event allowed us to undertake athletic profiling, introduce them to other professional training strategies, and provide them with educational workshops in various areas of professional sport, all with the aim to help equip our drivers and provide support to further their knowledge and empower their own individual performances. They can now take everything they learned to use in their training, preparation, and completion elements.”

Dan Stretch, SportsLab Manager at CCCU, echoed Thompson’s enthusiasm. “It has been an absolute delight having the Alpine Rac(H)er team visit us at SportsLab, where we have been working with the girls to help improve their performance across a number of different areas of sport science.”

“It has been an absolute delight having the Alpine Rac(H)er team visit us at SportsLab, where we have been working with the girls to help improve their performance across a number of different areas of sport science.”

The camp underscored the importance of a holistic approach to driver development. By addressing the physical, physiological, and psychological facets of athletic performance, Alpine’s Rac(H)er Programme is setting a new standard in nurturing young female talent in motorsport. This initiative not only equips these young drivers with the skills needed to excel but also empowers them to break barriers in a sport traditionally dominated by men.

As the engines roar and the wheels spin faster, the world will be watching these young talents rise, driven by the knowledge and confidence gained from such enriching experiences. The Alpine Rac(H)er Programme’s collaboration with CCCU SportsLab is a significant step towards a more inclusive and diverse future in Formula One, where skill and determination know no gender.