LGBTQ+ trailblazer Sarah Moore proud to 'support anyone' in W Series

Sarah Moore (centre) made LGBTQ+ motorsport history last season with W Series
Sarah Moore (centre) made LGBTQ+ motorsport history last season with W Series

By Rachel Steinberg

Racing Pride ambassador Sarah Moore acknowledged trans inclusion can be a paddock-dividing subject after fellow W Series competitor Jamie Chadwick drew ire for her remarks on the issue.

Defending champion Chadwick claimed her first home W Series victory on Saturday at Silverstone while more than a million people descended on London for its 50th anniversary Pride parade.

And while W Series drivers were kitted out with rainbow-emblazoned kit for their fourth race of the season, Moore advocated for more inward-gazing reflection to accompany the significant outward symbolism.

“I think motorsport as a whole is the most inclusive sport that there is, and that’s why I’m proud to be a racing driver,” said Moore, who debuted a Pride-themed helmet at the iconic British circuit.

“Growing up, obviously, until the W Series came about all of us females raced against the males. And that’s how it was, and it was always a level playing field. So you know, in the future, I think the whole LGBTQ+ community have got a long way to go as a whole.

“We’re going in the right direction, but I think there’s still a lot to be learned.”

Chadwick, who won back-to-back titles in W Series’ first two seasons, was at the centre of controversy on Friday after she backed team boss Caitlyn Jenner’s views on the inclusion of trans athletes in women’s sport.

Admitting Jenner “is definitely much better placed to speak on this kind of thing”, Chadwick told the Telegraph: “I can see what she is saying. Caitlyn is someone who is trans but who developed musculoskeletally as a man.

“So she’s a lot taller and broader than she would have been if she was born a female. Her main line I think is protecting women’s sport and I agree with that.

“I do believe that everyone should be able to compete in sport… [my sport] is quite different in the sense that women and men are capable of competing against each other so in theory it shouldn’t affect us.”

W Series debuted special Pride kit to mark the weekend at Silverstone
W Series debuted special Pride kit to mark the weekend at Silverstone

Jenner has courted criticism for her stance on numerous occasions, tweeting “I’m clear about where I stand. It’s an issue of fairness and we need to protect girls’ sports in our schools” when asked last year about proposed US legislation to exclude transgender girls from participating on girls’ school teams.

“I think everyone has their opinions,” said Moore. “Obviously, on the trans side of things. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and it will always cause issues.”

Asked if she felt her own series would be a welcoming environment for a trans driver, Moore replied: “Personally, I don’t know. Everyone takes it differently. Obviously being a Racing Pride ambassador and a lesbian myself, I’m always willing to support anyone in any walks of life.”

W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir has said the competition would welcome a qualified trans driver “with open arms.”

Moore became the first openly LGBTQ+ driver to podium on an F1 Grand Prix weekend when she finished second at the Red Bull Ring late last June.

It’s a legacy that’s still catching up with its pioneering holder, who married wife Carla in January—one of the few windows they could manage around Moore’s hectic racing and coaching calendar.

“The more experiences I have the more emotional I get about it,” she reflected.

“This Pride month I’ve done more events than I ever have, which is great in raising awareness and helping people understand, so that was great.

“But I think the more times I’ve talked about it this month, I don’t think there’s been one time where I haven’t had a lump in my throat.

“It was special for me, but I always go back to how much it meant to everyone else in the community more than myself to be honest.

“I’m happy with who I am, I’m happy in my relationship, I’m happily married. All I want is to do anything that I possibly can to help the rest of the community.

“And if that means using my voice and the position that I have thanks to the W Series to help people understand, I will do anything I can.”

Moore finished 10th on Saturday, the same position she occupies on the overall table.

She admits her season has suffered as she’s still “coming to terms” with the fact that her involvement in last season’s six-car crash at Spa, which saw two drivers sent to hospital, “has affected me a little more than what I thought it had. I’m kind of missing that last little bit of fire I had in me last year.”

But Silverstone might have ignited Moore, who saw “a fan stood with a massive pride flag, which made me really happy.

“[And] even though I didn’t get the result I wanted, it was thinking back to standing on that podium a year ago that really helped me this weekend.

“That brings some fire back.”