Reaching female fans is the holy grail of every worldwide racing series, and one of the easiest, most effective ways to connect with girls is to have a woman racing full time.
IndyCar received the most national attention in the last 15 years when Danica Patrick was a contender at the Indy 500 in the mid-and late-2000s, and NASCAR received a big publicity boost this season when Patrick won the pole--shock!--at Daytona for the Daytona 500.
Elena Myers earned headlines in the motorcycle world when she won in AMA SuperSport in 2010 at Sonoma and grabbed a far bigger Supersport win in 2012 at Daytona. She was seen at Indianapolis with her manager, Mickey Ryan, talking to teams about a future ride in Moto2 or Moto3.
But perhaps the female rider with the most promise to reach the upper levels of the World Championship is Spaniard Maria Herrera. She earned her second victory of the season last Sunday at Navarra in the Spanish CEV Moto3 championship, arguably the most competitive domestic series for the introductory class in the world.
Herrera is third in the series standings, just six points behind KTM Junior Team Estrella Galicia 0.0 teammate and championship leader Marcos Ramirez.
The next step in Herrera's ascension toward the world stage will take place this weekend at Aragon, where she will compete in Moto3 as a wild card. Herrera, 17, earned her first CEV Moto3 victory at the track earlier this season, the first win by a woman in any class of the Spanish championship.
Herrera is a protege of MotoGP veteran Alvaro Bautista. They both hail from Toledo, Spain, and train together. Bautista also has provided financial support for Herrera.