A few weeks back on Heels on Wheels on the Performance Motorsports Network, we did a show on the subject of eliminating Grid Girls from racing given an announcement by the World Endurance Championship that they were doing so. To debate the subject, we had two fantastic guests on the show. On the side of keeping Grid Girls we had famed race car driver and Fox Sports Commentator Tommy Kendall, and on the side of getting rid of Grid Girls we had Formula 1600 driver Amy Castell. During that show, Tommy challenged Amy to go out and get a Grid Guy to provide the balance she was saying motorsport needs in gender roles.
That challenge has been kicking around in my brain ever since, and I decided that at the very least I should find Amy a Grid Guy to show my appreciation for her willingness to come on the show for that particular debate. The question where I was going to find a guy that would not only be willing to do it, but had the requisite good looks to pull it off was a challenge for me. On this week’s show, I found just the guy to fit the bill. All I had to do was convince him to do it. I put the idea out there as a thought to him before the show, and then I went in for the kill during the show.
Jason Cherry is a young up-and-coming driver in the Touring Class division of the Pirelli World Challenge Championship. He’s well-spoken, is out there racing to raise awareness for Autism Spectrum Disorder, and he’s willing to go out on a limb once in a while for a bit of fun and an interesting idea. In the middle of his interview for this week’s show, I just outright asked him if he would be Amy’s Grid Guy this weekend at the Victoria Day Speedfest at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Instead of hedging on the idea, Jason came back with a counter proposal. He would be happy to be Amy’s Grid Guy for her two races during the weekend if she would agree to be his Grid Girl for his three races this weekend. No kidding. I’m feeling like I should insert a meme here that says “Negotiation Skills – Level – Epic”.
We also interviewed Amy for this week’s show, and she had no idea what was coming. We put Jason’s proposal to her, and she agreed right away. If you’re at Speedfest at CTMP this weekend, you’ll get to see a really awesome and cooperative plan unfold between two racers of different genders, racing two completely different types of cars, from two different countries.
You’ll see Jason standing in front of Amy’s car on the grid for the F1600 races and you’ll get to see Amy in front of Jason’s car for the PWC Touring Car races. The fact of the matter is that both of these young racers have promising careers ahead of them, and they’ll be meeting this weekend for the first time. That they’re out there proving that gender roles can be balanced in motorsport is awesome. That they’re both good-looking young people willing to try something different for fun and to show the world that a race car grid doesn’t always have to be full of just grid girls is even more awesome.
We couldn’t have planned this better if we tried.