Distinguished Panel Announced For 3rd Annual ‘Women In Motorsports’ Program At PRI 2018 | Performance Racing Industry
Distinguished Panel Announced For 3rd Annual ‘Women In Motorsports’ Program At PRI 2018
September 19, 2018
The seminar featuring Shea Holbrook, Katie Hargitt, Dr. Karen Salvaggio, and Cara Adams will be moderated by motorsports legend Lyn St. James.
Distinguished Panel Announced For 3rd Annual ‘Women In Motorsports’ Program At PRI 2018

Performance Racing Industry (PRI) is proud to present a panel of highly accomplished and influential racing professionals for our 3rd Annual “Opportunities for Women in Motorsports” seminar program at the 2018 PRI Trade Show in Indianapolis.

Taking center stage for this year’s all-female session will be PWC Touring Car driver Shea Holbrook; pit reporter and founder of “Fuel the Female” Katie Hargitt; veteran racer, driving instructor and team owner Dr. Karen Salvaggio; and Cara Adams, Chief Engineer and Manager of Race Tire Engineering for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations/Firestone Racing.

The program, which focuses on the mentorship mindset and encouraging/inspiring advancement for ambitious or would-be female motorsports professionals, will be moderated by none other than motorsports legend Lyn St. James, whose impressive career has set the bar for women in the male-dominated sport of auto racing.

Industry members of all generations and genders are invited to hear the panel share experiences, perspectives and invaluable advice on how to thrive in various capacities, whether behind the wheel, in the pits, on a crew, or in any number of other roles. While questions and discussion topics will be directed by St. James, time will be set aside for audience Q&A. The session is scheduled from 8–9 a.m. on Friday, December 7, in Rooms 241 and 242 of the Indiana Convention Center, site of the annual PRI Show.    

“What an unbelievable lineup we’ve managed to secure for the 2018 edition of PRI’s ‘Women in Motorsports’ seminar!” exclaimed PRI Editor and Education Program director Dan Schechner. “Ever since we launched this program in 2016—coincidentally headlined by Lyn St. James—the positive feedback and support we’ve received from across the industry has been incredible. We’re truly honored to provide this forum, and we can’t wait to see and hear from this exceptional group of motorsports professionals, exclusively at our Show.”    

After 10 years of impressive on track racing accomplishments, Holbrook has become a nationally recognized race car driver. Her diverse racing experience ranges from SCCA Club Racing, NASCAR Late Models, and Indycar’s Developmental Ladder Series Skip Barber Racing to professional sports car racing in the Pirelli World Challenge and the IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series. Based in Groveland, Florida, Holbrook’s Shea Racing has become a top Touring Car team in PWC, securing several class wins and podiums. Her pursuits aren’t limited to the track, however, as Holbrook is an entrepreneur with interests in motorsports coaching, driver brand development, public speaking, OEM driving events, Track Night in America’s Experiential Programs, and social media marketing, among others.  

Hargitt's motorsports roots run deep. She began racing quarter midgets around Indiana at age 9, attended Lyn St. James’ “Women in the Winner’s Circle” and Driver Development, and eventually graduated to USAC midgets. While attending Ball State University, Hargitt got out of the driver’s seat and in front of the camera, scoring her first job in local news in Terre Haute, Indiana. She eventually worked her way back into motorsports as a pit reporter on NBCSN's IndyCar series and IndyLights broadcasts. In spring of this year, Hargitt founded “Fuel the Female,” an organization aimed at helping girls achieve their dreams through motorsports.

Adams is Chief Engineer and Manager of Race Tire Engineering for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations/Firestone Racing. She has more than a decade of racing experience after joining the Race Tire Engineering team at Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) in 2007, and has developed tires for road/street courses and the Indianapolis 500. Currently, Adams is responsible for overseeing all design, development and track-side support of Firestone race tires, and heads a talented group that designs tires for some of the world’s most demanding driving situations. In addition to her work at BATO, Adams also serves on the boards of several community organizations, including the Akron section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Akron Council of Engineering and Scientific Services, and Akron Public Schools’ Project Lead the Way, a pre-engineering program for high school students.

Having served nine years in the US Air Force as an aircraft mechanic on B-52's and KC-135 aircraft, Salvaggio launched her racing career in 1985 at a NASCAR Winston dirt track event in California. From stock car racing, she made the move to road racing with the Vintage Auto Racing Association (VARA), followed by performance driving Corvettes in high- and low-speed events with the SCCA and National Council of Corvette Clubs (NCCC). In 2000, she joined the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), competing in the Women's Global GT Series. She’s also competed in NHRA drag racing events, capturing the Gardei Memorial Overall Competitor Award in 1997 (Firebird Raceway), and Top Eliminator honors at the Pomona Drags in 1999. Salvaggio serves as an instructor driver at NCCC, NASA, and Track Guys driving school events, and has secured more that 200 first place finishes in driving competitions including the Factory Five Challenge Series, NASA Time Trial Series, Western Endurance Racing Championship (WERC) Series, and more. She is owner and Editor-in-Chief of Thunder Valley Racing, and travels nationally to support women in racing efforts.

Named one of the “Top 100 Female Athletes of the Century” by Sports Illustrated, St. James has set 21 national and international speed records, and succeeded in the sport of auto racing at levels unparalleled by any other woman. As a competitor in the world’s largest sporting event—the Indy 500—St. James masterfully drove her way to earn Rookie of the Year honors in 1992 and competed in 15 IndyCar races, including seven Indy 500’s. She’s competed all over the world, including the 24 Hours of LeMans twice (1989, 1991) with victories in the IMSA Series at Watkins Glen, Road America, Daytona, and Sebring. She continues to race in vintage races and, most recently, at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

PRI’s “Opportunities for Women in Motorsports” seminar is offered free of charge to registered Trade Show attendees, exhibitors and media. Seating is available on a first-come, first served basis. For more information or to register for the PRI Trade Show, which takes place December 6–8, visit pri2018.com.