Danville, Va. (Sept. 1) -- The burgeoning motorsports industry in Southside Virginia has taken another step forward with the launch of DWD Racing, Inc., in Danville.
DWD (Damn Woman Driver) Racing, Inc. is an event management company and racing team. Julie Allen, owner and driver, has been involved in racing on both the participant and management sides since 1994. She began her career in motorsports as Membership Director for the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) and than advanced to Marketing Director. Allen recently served as Marketing Director for VIRginia International Raceway before deciding to formalize her own venture.
"The formation of DWD Racing, Inc., is the culmination of a dream for me," said Allen. "Not only will it enable me to further my racing ambitions, but it will help me to do some good for my new hometown. My family has fallen in love with Danville's potential, and the event-management arm of DWD Racing can help to bring more business and visitors here."
DWD Racing is an operation that will involve Allen's entire family. Her husband, Mike, will serve as Team Manager for the racing arm of the business. After purchasing a garage/office complex on Lynn Street in downtown Danville to restore, his parents, Jim and Gale Allen, are moving to the area. DWD Racing will call the facility home once the restoration is complete.
Julie Allen says that DWD Racing has always involved the whole clan.
"DWD has always been a family activity," she said. "My father-in-law got me started in racing by letting me drive his Austin-Healey Sprite in vintage events, while my mother-in-law made team shirts for everyone and provided behind-the-scenes support."
She admits that while the team's name -- created as a tongue-in-cheek response to the stereotypical male assessment of women's driving skills -- was somewhat of a sensitive issue while the couple's two daughters were young, she likes its uniqueness.
"When Ashley and Jessiann were small," she said, "we called the team 'Determined Woman Driver' or 'Darn Woman Driver.' But I think it makes us stand out in a male-dominated industry, and we have a lot of fun with it."
The team debuted its new logo, a lipstick mark with the name embossed on it designed by Danville graphic artist Dan Vaden, at the recent Gold Cup Historic Races at VIR, and the favorable response from both males and females has prompted a side business in DWD-logo sportswear and accessories.
Recently, Jim Allen bought and restored an MGB-GT for vintage racing, passing on the family's Austin-Healey to Julie and Mike. Julie will campaign the car in various vintage races as her schedule allows, while also concentrating on the event-management side of the business.
"My expertise with SVRA and VIR, and previous experience in the travel industry, has provided me with a large base of knowledge about organizing and presenting automotive events," she said. "DWD Racing, Inc. is offering its services both to racing organizations and non-racing groups, such as marque clubs, car shows, etc. We've had a great deal of interest from both in just a short period of time, and we feel very confident about the future."
For more information, visit the company's website at www.dwdracing.com