SGR announces 2011 partnership with Sailun Tires

Two organizations reach out to grassroots community via events, driving schools and giveaways

To continue increasing awareness of driver education, particularly amongst women, Team SGR today announced a partnership with Sailun Tires.

“We’re very happy to be partnering with Team SGR, and helping to promote their unique position in the racing community,” said Humphrey Ho, Senior Director of Marketing at Sailun Tires. “We believe Team SGR is the perfect partner allowing Sailun Tires to reach men and women of all ages with an interest in advanced driving and in grassroots motorsports. Indeed, that is the market that SGR has served since 1999.”

Through Sailun’s partnership with Team SGR, together we begin building motorsports history in Canada – reaching out to automotive enthusiasts on all levels, particularly those looking to get into the sport at a grassroots level.

“Culturally, the automobile sector is male-dominated and girls are groomed to be in the passenger seat or on the hood at a young age,” said Anna He, President and co-founder of Team SGR. “and we’re going to change that. Our approach to advanced driver education is to provide friendly and fun experiences at an affordable price. In that way, we are much like Sailun, a company looking to expand the reach of its high-quality, affordable product lineup in Canada. By appealing to women, we are, ultimately appealing to everyone.” [Read more…]

All-woman race clinic all business on the track

It’s first thing in the morning on a wintery Saturday, and Helen West is part of a group of women gathered to learn how to drive faster. Most motorists during this season just want to make it to their destination, never mind getting there more quickly.

But Etobicoke’s West, a part-time racer and 34-year-old mother of a 3-month-old girl, is enrolled in a “ladies only” clinic hosted by Sweetie Girl Racing at Grand Prix Kartways in north Toronto. The three-hour course is designed to boost confidence and improve driving skills on the street, and on the racetrack.

“This clinic is accessible with a capital A,” says West. “For some people it may seem daft to hear `this is how you put your seatbelt on,’ but that’s what makes these clinics so accessible for everyone, regardless of experience.”

West is one of this clinic’s most experienced racers. She competes in autocross (speed racing events, often held in parking lots), she’s completed Ian Law’s Car Control School, and a two-day track school in St-Eustache, Que. And while she competes mostly with guys with “fast cars,” she says it’s driving clinics like this one that help boost skills.

“The guys get embarrassed when I beat them, especially when they are driving a brand new BMW,” she says. “But it’s about the driver, not the power of the car. I can drive a crappy car and still beat the guys with the skills I’ve learned.”

Sweetie Girl Racing, an all-female race and show car team, started almost a decade ago. Its logo is a rainbow of blue, rose and purple, some of its members wear pink-hued helmets, and the group’s motto is “Ready for the Sugar Rush?”

Read the rest at the Toronto Star’s Wheels section

Feature: Kart racing, Team SGR style

Feature story on vLane by Ashley W

Team SGR is a social enterprise and organization with a focus on grassroots motorsports to engage and empower both women and men. They provide driver development, advanced driver training and education across all aspects of car culture.

As one of the largest clubs in Canada for the past ten years they have three divisions: SGR Miss Shift, racing in four different categories, circuit, time attack, drag and drift; SGR Miss Represent, car shows and audio which is for women who have a strong interest t in motor sports even if they don’t have a vehicle themselves; and SGR Miss Street division, for women who want to be more involved in SGR.

Improving my driving skills and learning how to become a better driver is something that I have a serious interest in. So, when the opportunity to learn during Team SGR’s driving clinic involving go-karts, I wasn’t sure what to expect and what I would learn that could improve my skills driving a “real” car.

Lesson time!

The lesson began with volunteer instructor Jason A. explaining that we would be racing electric carts which are quick but aren’t as fast as gas carts apparently. He went onto explain the words, “smooth,” which means to be actually be going fast not slow. Understeer — when the front tires lose traction, oversteer — when the rear tires loose traction, neutral steer — when all four tires have grip at the same time and drifting — controlled oversteer which means that your actually taping the gas lightly to control the car as it does this.

We were taught the three points of a corner: the entry, apex and exit. I had never heard of a corner described like this and it made me think, this would have been so helpful in drivers ed when I first started learning how to drive. The entry is when you start turning, the apex is the clipping point of the corner and the exit is the outside of the corner. He stressed that it was important to use all of the track when turning and to accelerate out of a corner (this was hard for me to get used to) and to look ahead. We were also instructed to visualize the steering wheel as a clock and place our hands at 9 and 3 to control the kart better. No 10 and 2 here!

What I thought was really important was the track-walk, something I never did the first time I went go karting. It really was important to get a better view of the corners, how long the track was, and what the track looked like in its’ entirety.

On track

I was actually in the first group of cars to go out with an instructor and other participants. As I got strapped in with a helmet and tightened my seatbelt I realized that my legs were a little long for this small go kart I would be driving. So as we’re getting ready to go I thought to myself remember everything I was just taught…ya right. As I stepped on the gas and took off it was more like Go! Go! Go!. The first corner I totally messed that up, the apex part went out the window…but as I started racing around the track, halfway through I started to remember to look ahead at where I wanted to go and about the entry, apex and exit. Instead of racing so wide throughout the track I got a little tighter and more comfortable doing this. I was able to turn through those corners better and really felt what our instructor had said about oversteering and understeering.

Once I was done I hopped out and watched the other participants, it was good to see how others were racing on the track as well. The second and third time out we were instructed that we could pass each other and pick up speed. The track defenitely felt a lot faster those times and I know I bumped somebody and I felt a few taps as I was doing my laps. (I walked away with some bruises!)

The aftermath…

After each session we would de brief with our instructor to hear what we were doing right and doing wrong. Racing with SGR was a lot of fun, especially to meet women and men who were involved in this sport. I learned a lot of driving techniques that I know I can apply to my everyday driving and to more kart racing the next time I’m on the track.

I was able to interview President and CEO, Anna He of Team SGR Advanced Driving who explained to me why she loves what she does.

“It’s a very unique automotive team, the people you meet, the opportunities that you get and the racing experiences that I’ve had on track as well as off track are really unparellel to none,” she said. “There have been ups and downs, it’s been a very interesting roller-coaster ride but overall I see it as a very positive experience. It’s changed the way I percieve myself and the way I percieve females around me.”
The emphasis on SGR being a female racing group is imporant to He because she feels that females are steretyped in the automotive industry in terms of how they act and dress, she is someone that is making strides in diminishing those stereotypes altogether.

Performance BMW Magazine

You’ve heard people call a car ‘a bit girlie’ but in this case it’s true. Meet Jenn Kaufman and her 318i.

Take a quick glance through some back issues of PBMW and it becomes immediately apparent that the US is a huge showcase for hot Beemers. There’s rarely been an issue of PBMW without some tasty morsel from the ‘Land of the Free’. However, until recently we dismissed Canada as a serious hotbed of modified Bavarian talent. But, after we received several temptors of what lay in the undiscovered country how could we resist exploring what lay north of the 49th parallel? What we found were some truly stunning examples, including last month’s E36 M3-powered E30 and this pristine specimen.
[Read more…]

PAS Mag

This is the original all-girl club, so it also stands to reason that it should be the best. With members coming from all over Ontario and even Québec, Team SGR is a pioneering club in more than one area. Making its debut at the 1999 Darknights Nationals, SGR is now 25 members strong and growing. With a great diversity of member’s rides ranging from various models of Civics to a Toyota Supra, a BMW 318, a new Mercedes C230 and even an S-10 pickup, the club can’t lose. Surprise, surprise, even a New Beetle is part of the clan. And Team SGR obviously doesn’t discriminate members based on what they drive.

The club’s mandate is to have fun and party, and this includes going out to clubs or cruising the streets, all the while proving they can be just as dedicated to their cars as their male counterparts. But the girls are also responsible and professional, as Team SGR’s involvement with corporate sponsors and other organizations attest.

New for 2002 is the club’s affiliation with M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) to promote safe, sober and responsible driving. The team will display M.A.D.D. posters, hand out pamphlets and flyers as well as try to raise and donate a projected goal of $1,000 to the charity. Other corporate sponsors include Toyo Tires and Innovative Entertainment, which is best known for organizing Darknights and Dragnights.

Heck, the club even sells its very own line of clothing and merchandise. The girls’ website, sweetiegirlracing.com, even has 200 registered members on its message board and threads range from subjects as diverse as car shows, local sports teams and technical issues as well as all forms of racing.

Look for Team SGR at all Innovative Race Series stops at Toronto Motorsports Park in Cayuga, Ontario, as well as select shows including Toronto’s The First Episode, Import Showcase and ImportFest, among others.

Goals for the 2002 season include rounding up some sponsors for the team and keep on kicking butt as North America’s all-girl race team.

Look for upcoming features on select Team SGR rides in future issues of PAS.

© Copyright 2000 Performance Audio and Sound Magazine *article reprinted with permission*