BTCC won’t outlaw use of grid girls

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@MattJMNews

Grid girls will not be outlawed in the British Touring Car Championship following a tweak to the 2018 rules, which will now allow teams to choose who represents their car on the grid.

Last week, F1 bosses decided to outlaw grid girls, claiming it was at odds with “modern day societal norms”. A similar decision has been made by the bosses of darts.

However, the BTCC has made an amendment to its start-line procedure regulations. The rule now states: “Registered teams are required to supply one person per registered car in suitable clothing to be on the grid for each race with the start-line board at the front of the registered car’s grid position when directed to do so by officials.”

It will allow teams to make a decision, but most team bosses have backed the use of grid girls.

Speedworks Motorport’s Amy Dick said: “There is nothing seedy, exploitive or sexist about it, the girls work for us very much on their own terms and have input into what they are going to wear.

“Our grid girls are independent business women. They are commercially savvy through social media, on-event hosting etc, in fact they become an integral part of the promotional team as a whole throughout the season on and off the grid.”

Teams will have the choice of whether or not to use grid girls. Pic: Jakob Ebrey

HMS Racing boss Simon Belcher says that it has no plans to alter its set-up for 2018 to promote its Alfa Romeo Giulietta, which will be driven by Rob Austin.

Belcher said: “Our grid girl is Jo Paddon and she has worked for us for the last three seasons. Jo does far more than hold the name board on the grid, she is always around to interact with our supporters and has a great rapport with them all, she also updates our social media over the weekend.

“While we may have a grid girl she is like every other member of our team. She even helps pack up the garage at the end of a race weekend. It’s about what you do and making a difference not what sex you are.”

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