With International Women’s Day in full swing, the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup is highlighting new Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Team Manager Elsa Verbist.
The 30-year-old from Belgium has worked in motorsport since 2015, initially as Team Coordinator for SRO Motorsport, mainly in the GT World Challenge, before she was appointed Team Manager of Attempto Racing.
Born into a motorsport family, Verbist will perform a key role within the Comtoyou Racing operation as it bids for more Audi-powered WTCR success in 2022.
How excited are you by this opportunity?
“I’m really looking forward for this new chapter with Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, the team fits exactly to my point of view of the job, we have the same mindset and goals which makes the relationship really smooth since day one. We have a lot of new challenges coming and we are happy to work close together.”
What are the main challenges you expect to face?
“The biggest challenge for me will be to start in the touring car category, as my experience was 100 per cent in GT3 so far. I need to get used to the format and to work in an FIA series, but this makes it even more exciting. And then of course it’s always a challenge itself to join a new team, especially a big structure as Comtoyou Racing and Audi Sport. We will need to work hard to achieve our goals for this season and the next ones.”
How do you normally overcome such challenges?
“When you work in motorsport you are always looking for new challenges, it’s in our blood I guess. And when you have this kind of opportunity, you don’t have to think twice. You just go for it and give everything to make it good.”
What do you bring to the team in terms of your skills and experience?
“It’s a win-win collaboration. I will bring to them a support with the experiences I got in the past, while they are giving me a big opportunity to move forward in my career.”
Has being a woman ever been a barrier to doing your job?
“Being a woman in such a man’s world it’s not easy every day, I’m m not going to lie. You have to work harder to prove you have your place. It’s unfortunately not yet often that they have to work or even be managed by a woman here in the paddock, we maybe need to trust ourselves more than someone else. But, at the end, it’s even more [reason to be] grateful to arrive at this level when you are a woman. Luckily there is never big issues, everyone gets good intentions towards everyone and the most important is to do a faultless job to have the best results on track.”
What advice do you have for other women looking for a career in motorsport?
“To never doubt yourself, as soon as you know where you want to be and what you want to do, you have to work hard for it and do not let anyone say you won’t be able to do it. But this advice should work everywhere, not only in motorsport. Women should not be afraid to be part of this world, we really have our place here.”