Engineering excellence and racing

  • 13 March 2023

Amanda Kangai (Engineering 2021) is thrilled to be joining Veloce Racing in the Extreme E motorsport series.

After spending weekends as a child watching Lewis Hamilton and co in Formula One with her father, a Brighton bus driver, Amanda will begin her journey in motorsport with the FIA-sanctioned series which uses electric vehicles and has an emphasis on sustainability.

Hamilton, the seven-time world champion in F1, has shone a spotlight on a lack of diversity in motorsport, prompting the Hamilton Commission Report, published in July 2021. Extreme E’s Racing For All initiative is a response to that report.

“I have always been interested in motorsport. My dad’s a big fan of F1, which I used to watch with him on Saturdays and Sundays,” Amanda says.

“This is a really good opportunity to make the dream of a career in motorsport a reality.

One person in a white polo shirt and one in a purple linked over the shoulder and smiling
Amanda pictured with George Imafidon

“I am proud to be a black woman in motorsport. Engineers like Stephanie Travers and George Imafidon have been a massive inspiration, and I'm happy to share the paddock with them in Season Three!

“I’m really grateful to Lewis Hamilton for making the push. He is such an icon. He doesn't just say words, but implements action!

“I couldn't even dream of this opportunity. It's surreal, and I'm thankful to Mariella Bailey and Dan Bailey for this opportunity, as well as the Extreme E team! I'm excited to be part of the paddock and to integrate into Veloce Racing.”

Amanda is President of Caius Engineering Society, Access Officer for Cambridge University Engineering Society and Events Officer for Cambridge University Women in Engineering Society. 

She plans to focus her future academic direction on mechanical, aerodynamics and electrical modules and joins Veloce after spending last season – the second for the series – as a student engineering ambassador for Extreme E.

She attended races, leading paddock tours and discussing the components of the Extreme E cars. This year her focus is on one team and she expects to attend all races bar the first round which took place last weekend.

She is looking forward to her involvement, beginning with the races in Scotland in mid-May.

“For each team there’s a fixed number of team members, for sustainability, and I’ll be the third engineer on the team,” Amanda adds.

“I’ll be shadowing the main engineer and be involved in some of the decision making processes.

“I will be integrated and well utilised into the team. I can't wait to get the full experience of being a team member in the paddock.”

The first two rounds of racing took place in Saudi Arabia over the weekend, with Veloce Racing winning Saturday’s round one, and finishing second in Sunday’s round two to have a joint lead in the championship. The next round is due to place in Scotland in May.

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