Nadine Armstrong and Motorsport Australia official Jessica Nicholson have shared an interesting insight into the world of officials through the latest edition of the online FIA Girls On Track program, presented by D2N Technology Solutions.
Throughout the one-on-one interview on Motorsport Australia’s Instagram channel, the pair spoke about all things motorsport and Nicholson’s journey as both a competitor and officials, as well as answering questions from viewers.
Nicholson first got involved in the sport as an official two decades ago, before deciding to be a competitor, which started off with simple track days and finished off as a rally co-driver in multiple state rounds within New South Wales and Tasmania.
Having also been an official for many years since first joining in the early 2000s, Nicholson eventually made history in 2020 when she was appointed as the Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Deputy Race Director, becoming the first woman in Australia to hold that role in a national series.
As one of the leading officials at Wakefield Park and Australia as a whole, Nicholson believed there was one key factor to getting the required experience.
“I started as a flaggie and worked my way into Race Control, which is where you need to be should you want to get one of the top jobs. There is lots of pressure, but you get used to it over time,” Nicholson said.
“As for officials, there isn’t really a prerequisite for people to come in as volunteers. My advice would just to come in and have a go – woman or man.
“At Wakefield Park, we have so many women part of the team – our ratio is actually 50/50. More females are coming in and it’d be the same everywhere. All officials are welcome and we are more than happy for people to get involved.
“My advice to people wanting to become officials would be to not get discouraged. I never did. There is always a way to get where you want to go and sometimes you might not get it straight away, but you just work around it and find another way. It’s taken me 10 years to get where I am now, but I wasn’t ready back then and I am ready now.”
“I would love to be a Clerk of Course for Supercars or at an international event where I get to go to Asia. That would be a massive achievement. That might be another 10 years, but I am not in a hurry.”
Nicholson joins an impressive list of individuals to have featured in the online chats, including international media personality Rosanna Tennant, 2016 RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Champion Molly Taylor and Triple Eight Racing’s Jessica Dane.