Girls Burn Up Track At Sonoma Raceway


Zip! Zoom! Zang! The Della Penna Motorsports Foundation invited female SVHS students to learn about the motorsports industry February 1 at the Sonoma Raceway. 

At this excursion students began their afternoon by arriving at the track and eating lunch. During this time they will also listen to Tati Ziemer, a kart driver and mechanic at Sonoma Raceway. Followed by Stefy Bau, a world motocross champion and esports entrepreneur, talking about her career. From there the instructors defined the equipment process and karting, which therefore led to getting suited up and off to the track.

The girls raced around the track following their group instructor, learning the fundamentals of go karting. After circling the track four times, the girls and their instructor went back into the “classroom” to perfect the execution of the turns and gain speed. After a brief  discussion the group went out for a second run. The ladies picked up the pace and had a blast cruising the beautiful raceway track overlooking Sonoma.

Senior Kate Jernagin commented on the event saying, “This experience was empowering and informational, definitely sparking interest about motor sports.”

The Della Penna Motorsports NextGen Foundation was created to preserve the memory of John Della Penna. The Foundation, a non-profit organization, was founded by Michelle Della Penna. Its mission is to provide girls from the ages of 5 to 16 with opportunities to supercharge a future in motorsports, whether it be in the driver’s seat, the pits, or in front of a computer. They brought this opportunity to SVHS to influence the young students of a future motorsports career. 

As the day ended, the group met with Zandara Keennedy, a stunt driver and drift racer to talk to the girls about her career. Alongside that, the girls were given an opportunity to even sit in a drift ride along with her in a professional drifting car.