‘Awesome’ Caitlyn Jenner was key in me landing American drive

Tim Herbert
Authored by Tim Herbert
Posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2023 - 07:05

Indy NXT rookie Jamie Chadwick admits Caitlyn Jenner was pivotal in taking her career Stateside after she made her racing debut in America.

The three-time W Series champion lined up for Jenner Racing last year in a move that not only helped continue her dominance of the all-female competition but put her name in lights across the Atlantic.

The extra exposure paid off with a move to the IndyCar feeder series that began on March 5 in St Petersburg. Chadwick finished 13th on her debut and while she’ll be driving for Andretti Autosport this year, the Brit hasn’t forgotten the part Jenner played in her landing the seat.

“It was kind of part of the reason for coming back to W Series with the Jenner team, especially now, and it’s become more prevalent, looking at opportunities in America,” the 24-year-old said on the Fuelling Around podcast.

“It felt like the opportunities and exposure she could give me, everything, to get that next step up and the budget and everything required for that, it felt like that was quite a good environment to put myself in.

“In terms of racing for Caitlyn and being involved with her team, it was actually really cool because like I’ve said, she does do it for the right reasons. She’s just genuinely passionate about supporting women and the sport. She loves racing, when she came to the first race in Miami, she spent more time just with the mechanics and the engineers than she did anyone else. I think it’s just quite cool as she just genuinely loves the sport.”

The racer from Bath, England, has won all three editions of the W Series since it was launched in 2019 and is seen as the leading female driver in motorsport.

She is competing against men and women now after becoming the first woman in 13 years to complete full-time in the American series.

The former Cheltenham College pupil, part of the Williams Racing Driver Academy, had hoped to progress up the motorsport ladder in 2022. But a lack of funding held her back and created the opportunity to clinch a trio of W Series titles while working with the American celebrity and Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete.

“It was meant to be a Zoom call with a group of us on and for whatever reason that didn’t happen and I just got a message saying ‘call this number’, added Chadwick about her joining Jenner Racing during the latest episode of the award-winning motoring podcast

“I wasn’t necessarily expecting it to be Caitlyn. I was told that it was to do with Caitlyn Jenner having a team in it but I didn’t realise the call was going to be with her and you do not mistake that voice. Because it was with America it was quite late at night so I had a couple of glasses of wine to relax myself into it before and she was awesome actually.

“As soon as I kind of got over the fact that I was on the phone to Caitlyn Jenner, her understanding of the sport was really, really good. She knew everything about me, everything I’d done which was really cool.

“There’s been so many sort of pinch yourself moments. We ended up going out to Malibu to meet her properly a few weeks later. You’re turning up to her house (thinking); ‘What are we doing? How has my life come around to this?’ It is surreal and it’s amazing how me doing something I love doing and am lucky enough to do has kind of gone full circle and put me into this situation to experience these mad things.”

Chadwick spoke about a host of other topics on the show including women in motorsport, her early career and hopes for the future.

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