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Cambridge student becomes first female engineer to join Extreme E racing series under Hamilton Commission initiative

Amanda Kangai will join Veloce Racing in the Extreme E off-road racing series as a Junior Engineer

Amanda Kangai, an Engineering student at Gonville and Caius, has become the first female engineer to join the Extreme E racing series through the Racing for All initiative.

The series races electric SUVs in remote, off-road tracks around the world, and provides social and environmental support for its race locations.

Kangai will join Veloce Racing as their sixth mechanic. Dan Bailey, CEO of Veloce Racing, believes such initiatives are synonymous with the team’s, and the series’, values: “Veloce is proudly committed to developing and promoting the very best talent in motorsport and we are delighted to welcome Amanda into the team for Season 3.

“Not only is she the second member of the Racing For All initiative, but as the first female to be signed within the framework she reflects the team’s ambitions around equality.”

Amanda Kangai had already dedicated much of her time to engineering alongside her study of the subject, as she has held positions such as President of the Gonville and Caius Engineering Society and Access Officer of the Cambridge University Engineering Society. As well as this, Kangai has previously worked as an Extreme E Student Ambassador in Sardinia, which was were she met Veloce Racing. She recalls:

“Being a student ambassador last year was a great experience, especially to be immersed into the Extreme E paddock. I also kept a close eye on Veloce Racing – I have always been a fan of the team and so it is great to be working with them for Season 3.”

Kangai and her fellow Extreme E student ambassadors last year (Image credits: Sam Bagnall)

Kangai added: “I am really grateful to get the opportunity to be with the team this year and everyone has been great with me since joining. It is going to be an invaluable experience and I am so glad that Extreme E have helped provide this opportunity through Racing for All.”

Racing for All was implemented by Extreme E following the findings of a report by the Hamilton Commission which highlighted the barriers in motorsport facing young Black people, particularly those who wish to pursue careers in engineering.

The Commission’s founder, Lewis Hamilton, said of the initiative last year: “We know from the findings of The Hamilton Commission that our industry is a tough place to break into, particularly for those from underrepresented backgrounds, which is why it’s so important that the Racing for All programme will be creating genuine opportunities for the next generation.”

Kangai’s tenure with Veloce Racing will begin in Scotland in May, at the second X Prix of Season 3, where she will take up her role as Junior Engineer. Of her new position, Bailey, Veloce Racing CEO, added: “We look forward to working with Amanda and growing her skillset across such a revolutionary championship.”