Going into this new decade of 2020 the Athena Racing Team is quickly kicking into high gear.

It’s a year of hard work and dedication from all of the team members on Athena Racing.  The inspiration fueling us girls to work hard this new year is our shared passion for cars and love of racing on the track.  As Ayrton Senna said, “I continually go further and further, learning my own limitations, my body, my limitations, psychological limitation.  It’s a way of life for me.” The girls working alongside me under the guidance and mentorship of Athena Racing are pushing limitations in ourselves and in the male-dominated industry of cars this year and in their future STEM careers as well.  Learning our own limits and pushing beyond what we believed was possible.

A New Year means new opportunities and Athena has plenty in store for this inaugural team.  The girls are looking forward to more training weekends and to further immerse themselves in the world of racing.  The girls are starting training in advanced driving techniques and are going to be getting behind the wheel with kart training this month.  And all the girls are jumping at the chance to get started. 

At the beginning of the month, the girls had an amazing opportunity to sign autographs and connect with future racers at the San Diego Auto Show.  The girls had so much fun meeting everyone and loved getting to look at all the beautiful and unique cars.  Car shows are predominantly a male-oriented venue, but that didn’t stop this group of girls from loving every minute of it. They have all reached a consensus that they can do whatever they want and not let gender tell them where they belong.

Later in the year, the girls are going to be racing in sanctioned autocross races in the SCCA; while also building out a team drift car. The plan, budgeting, modifications and component assignments are currently under development. The girls are just as excited about building the cars and deciding the modifications as they are to race them. It’ll be great to have that hands-on experience on and off the racetrack. That is why so many girls auditioned for this team!

Emily also will be able to attend her second NASCAR race this year at the Kentucky Speedway Racetrack. She is looking forward to watching the professionals before and during the race through the lens of a racer because of the experience of her training with Athena Racing versus the first time she was there with no knowledge of anything related to racing. Camping in the middle of the racetrack was so much fun 3 years ago – hearing and seeing the cars all day long. She is especially excited to see the engineers this visit and hopes to go behind the scenes with the drivers and their teams.

The girls of Athena Racing all have goals going into this new decade for racing. Adeline’s New Year’s resolution is to better understand engines and their components. Emily’s goal for the new decade is to further enhance her knowledge of cars, specifically how the engines work as she aspires to be an automotive engineer and speeding up her lap time on the track. Marissa’s goal this New Year proves that being a girl in the male-dominated field of racing doesn’t make her any less capable than her male counterparts. Rosy wishes to better understand the math behind engines and racing. And Shayne’s goal is to dive deeper into the physics of racing and the track, and how all the different factors come together to create the optimal line. All of these girls are dedicated to improving with the guidance provided by the Athena Racing program.

The previous year these girls have already gained knowledge into the world of business involved with race teams. With the Power of 10 fundraiser these girls got to see the importance of connections in the motorsport, automotive, and transportation industries. Hard work and successful fundraising brought Adeline and Emily to the top of the leader board in November with over $1,000 in donations individually. The young ladies of Athena are looking forward to expanding their circle of reach into the STEM and racing world.

Teamwork is an important part of any team but especially on a race team like Athena Racing. And Athena Racing is a bridge way for lifelong connections among the girls. Friendship has quickly blossomed among the girls due to their like-minded love of cars, with all of the girls looking forward to each training weekend or event where they get together this new year.


Written by Team Mate & Spokeswoman Emily Gornall

To succeed, you must be able to concentrate, and to know what to concentrate on.

-Denise McCluggage

Emily Gornall

Emily Gornall

Team Member & Spokesperson

Emily is a high school AP and Honor student in her junior year. As a young entrepreneur who currently works in the executive assistant role with two companies, she is gaining the experience needed to command a transportation sector in the upcoming decades. Her vacations are spent on road trips with her family exploring the USA.