Team Parker and Charlie Martin to spearhead Racing Pride’s new LGBTQ+ initiative at Silverstone
Pride Month will again be celebrated during British GT’s biggest event of the year this weekend when Team Parker Racing and Charlie Martin spearhead Racing Pride’s launch at the Silverstone 500.
Racing Pride has been developed in partnership with Stonewall UK, Britain’s leading charity for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality. The new movement will positively promote LGBTQ+ inclusivity within the motorsport industry and among its technological and commercial partners.
The move comes 12 months after Charlie Martin, a transgender racing driver who previously competed in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge, asked British GT teams to feature rainbow flags on their cars in recognition of Pride Month.
The overwhelming support received at Silverstone makes the same event a natural platform for Racing Pride. To date, no concerted effort has been made to raise visibility for LGBTQ+ participants within motorsport, whether they be drivers, mechanics, engineers, or those in race support, official, or associated media roles. Racing Pride intends to change this through a network of driver ambassadors, commercial partners and supporters from across the motorsport and automotive industries.
Two early industry allies, Team Parker Racing and Torque Motorsport, will host Racing Pride’s ambassadors – including Charlie Martin – this weekend at Silverstone where the team’s Bentley Continental GT3 and Mercedes-AMG GT4 are both carrying stickers, just as they did in 2018.
Motorsport journalist and Autosport Academy member Christopher Sharp, plus racing driver Richard Morris are co-founders of Racing Pride. As well as input from Stonewall UK, it has been developed alongside a core team comprising Jon Holmes (Sky Sports Editor and founder of Sports Media LGBT+), Thierry Courtois (Creative Designer, Mahindra Racing), Matt Bishop (W Series Communications Director, former McLaren F1 Chief Communications Officer), Oliver Warman (owner of Warman Media and founder of the Gay Racers online community), and Matt Beer (Autosport Editor
Stuart Parker, Managing Director of Team Parker Racing: “We are fully supportive of Racing Pride and its long-term goal to bring awareness to the positive achievements of LGBTQ+ members of the motorsport community. It is disheartening that members of the LGBTQ+ community feel they have to hide their sexuality in and around motorsport, and we are happy to play a part of helping show that this is an inclusive industry where individuals can be themselves.”
Christopher Sharp, Racing Pride co-founder: “At its heart Racing Pride has been set up to help people who don’t feel able to be themselves, who feel they have to hide their true selves when they really shouldn’t. We are here to make people aware of the issue of inclusivity in motorsport but also to provide a way to help fix it.”
Kirsty Clarke, Director of Sport, Stonewall UK: “It’s fantastic to see Racing Pride launched to actively tackle this issue in motorsport. Having role models like Richard Morris, Christopher Sharp and Charlie Martin as part of this network can inspire young LGBT people by letting them know they are not alone and that they have a place in sport. Congratulations to Racing Pride and everyone involved for this trailblazing work in helping create a more inclusive culture in sport. Sport is one area where lesbian, gay, bi and trans people often feel unwelcome, or even excluded, not only as participants but even cheering in the crowds. It’s extremely important that we kick discrimination out of sports – and we’re keen to work with more sport organisations who want to come out for LGBT and make sport everyone’s game.”
Watch the Silverstone 500 live this Sunday from 12:35 across British GT’s social media platforms and website, plus SRO’s GT World Youtube channel.