In the lead up to today’s International Women in Engineering Day (Sunday June 23), PremiAir Nulon Racing’s Romy Mayer was celebrated as the first female full-time race engineer in Supercars to claim a pole position. 

Mayer is the race engineer for Jimmy Golding and the #31 PremiAir Nulon Racing Camaro, which had a breakthrough weekend in the Top End with provisional pole in qualifying, pole in Saturday’s top ten shootout, and a pair of fourth place finishes in the two races. 

Those results saw him climb seven spots up the championship order to fifth place and, combined with the efforts of Jimmy’s team-mate, Tim Slade, also saw PremiAir Nulon Racing advance in the team’s championship, from 10th to eighth position.  

Across her 14-year career to date, Mayer has excelled in the DTM Championship in Germany, Blancpain Asia (now known as GT World Challenge Asia), and now Supercars, coming to the sport with Triple Eight after having worked with the team in their international exploits.  

Mayer joined PremiAir Nulon Racing this time last year, with her appointment fittingly announced on International Women in Engineering Day 2023.  

“The Darwin weekend’s results are definitely the highlight of my Supercars career so far, there is no question,” Mayer said.  

“We have all been working so hard and to have this breakthrough of our first pole position and Jimmy’s first pole position, both on Friday with the provisional pole and then backed up with being number one in the Top Ten Shootout, was extremely exciting for the entire team. It is definitely an achievement of which I am very proud for myself, for Jimmy, and PremiAir Nulon Racing. 

“Before Darwin, I would have recounted two other moments as being my most memorable. The first was when I was with Triple Eight and we won the 2017 championship with Jamie Whincup – I was the performance engineer on that car and not only did we win it in the last race of the season, we won it on the last lap, so there was a lot of emotions, especially as we had come close for a couple of years before that. 

“The second was when in 2022 I was race engineering for the first time with the Supercheap Auto Wildcard entry with Craig Lowndes and Declan Fraser at the Bathurst 1000, and it was the best wildcard result at Bathurst ever achieved (P8) – it was amazing to have my first Bathurst as a race engineer and also to have this amazing result.” 

Mayer grew up in Germany and was exposed to all things automotive from an early age.  

“The automotive industry is quite dominant in the south of Germany where I grew up, so I was always around the car industry,” she explains. 

“My dad was working for a CNC manufacturer, which was also the CNC supplier for the car makers.  

“While I was always good at math and physics, the whole engineering world seemed a bit daunting at first, but when I completed an internship with Mercedes I fell in love with car design and manufacturing, so I decided to study automotive engineering.  

“While I was at university, we had a Formula SAE team, where the students design and build and then race formula cars. That sparked my interest into motorsport, that, and the fact that in Germany there is a large following for F1 as there have always been a couple of German drivers, so normally F1 is on the TV on Sunday afternoon in German households! 

“So that brought me into motorsport and a decision to pursue engineering while combining that with working on cars and at race tracks, rather than just sitting in front of a screen.”  

There is no doubt that the engineering industry, especially in the motorsport world, is one dominated by men, with Mayer reporting that this does bring some extra pressures.  

“I would say as a female engineer working in a male-dominated industry, you are always standing out – if you do something very well, you will be in the spotlight, but if something goes wrong, you will also be in the spotlight,” she said. 

“So, the challenge as a female engineer is that you have to be better than average, and make sure that you are always on top of everything –you must always make sure you are on top of everything and not be an ‘everyday engineer’ just trucking along. You have to be able to play with the top players and show that you know what you are doing and that you are confident in your work.  

“What I am seeing changing is that we are building an amazing community, especially in Australia but not only here, of women working in motorsports who are connecting via social media, and we all support each other, so there are lots of ways we can share our experiences and also opportunities coming up and that community is helping make us stronger and helping us to grow and I think that is really great.” 

For those wanting to break through, Mayer has the following advice. 

“You need to show up and go out there and go after what you want,” she said. 

“A lot of people want to work in motorsport, especially with it becoming so popular with Drive to Survive and so on, but you need to not only want it, but also show that you want it. 

“This means taking initiative, accepting volunteering work, and going out there and seeing what it is actually like, because sometimes what you see on TV is a bit different to what it is in real life. 

“Also don’t be afraid to connect with other women and also men that work in the industry and get advice, get contacts and network, and take those first steps forward.” 

Mayer is also a FIA Girls on Track Ambassador and Co-Founder of the Future Females program, and often presents to schools and universities to encourage women to pursue a STEM-based career. 

“The Girls on Track program is really amazing, and I am proud to be an ambassador,” she said.  

“The Girls on Track Inspire events for girls 8-14 years of age brings them to the race track for different workshops and shows them all the different fields of motorsport. 

“The Girls on Track Pathways program for 14 years and up is more of a networking or career-building event, where we guide them into the first steps of getting into motorsport. 

“All of these events showcase women working in the industry and helps these young girls and women to hopefully make their first steps, while exposing them to other women as role models and hopefully making them feel more included.  

“I am a big supporter of these events, and any that will help girls and women with taking their first steps in our industry.”  

As she celebrates International Women in Engineering Day for 2024, Mayer says the day signifies something critically important.  

“This day is all about raising awareness about the women who are pursuing engineering and transforming the world with their achievements, and as we look to grow female participation in engineering and in the automotive and motorsport and wider STEM worlds, I think this awareness raising is very important,” she said.

“Having role models for young girls and women to look up to and to see as an example of what they can achieve if they so wish is very important.  

“Throughout my career I have always been able to ask former colleagues or others in the industry with more experience for advice, but when I was coming up there were not many female role models per se, or they just were not highlighted.  

“So I think it is really important that we are shining the spotlight on these women and what they are achieving so that this next generation can have clear role models to look up to and hopefully be inspired and have the self-belief they need to chase their own career aspirations, even in male-dominated industries. 

“This is a real passion area of mine, and I am very proud to be able to play my small part through my work and through my involvement with FIA Girls on Track in hopefully helping light the way a little for our up and coming female STEM and motorsport professionals.” I 

When it comes to the ‘reality’ of being a race engineer, Mayer’s responsibilities are wide-ranging. 

“No two days are actually the same, and how our days look on the race track is very different to how they look back at the workshop,” she explains.  

“Before we travel to the race track we prepare the cars and the data as best as we can to get ready for that particular track and event. 

“At the track we have a set-up day, and then on the first day that the cars are on track for practice we are testing out different parts and strategies while setting the car up for qualifying and also for racing. 

“For qualifying you want a car that is fast for that one lap, which is very different from what you need when it gets to the race, where things depend a lot on strategy – not just fuel strategy or tyre strategy, but also analysing your competitors. 

“Communicating with the whole team about what their jobs are and what needs to be done are also important parts of my role.  

“Team work is definitely a big part of things – we have a huge team of people working in all different areas, from race drivers to engineers to mechanics, including mechanics responsible for all different parts of the car, tyre technicians and also the commercial side.  

“There may be a lot of us, but we all have the one goal, we want to cross the finish line first, and for a race engineer it is especially important that you have effective communication with all these people in a language that they understand so we are all working together. Communication is undoubtably huge in our industry, and this is especially true on the race track, so it is always top of our list. 

“Staying up to date with the latest technologies is also very important for me – I am an ambassador for Z by HP and we have an amazing community of ambassadors all around the world sharing insights and collaborating with different and new technologies and emerging software, including AI.  

“Nowadays it is definitely easier to stay on top of new tech coming through thanks to social media and the internet, but I have always been sure to stay up to date and always looking for new software and opportunities that come up – after all, the difference between winning or not in motorsport comes down to the one percenters, so we need to be on top of everything all the time.”  

With such a high-pressure role, ensuring work-life balance is also critical.  

“I learnt pretty early on that being able to switch off when you finish work is very important. For a long time, I worked in Brisbane with Triple Eight while living on the Gold Coast, and so I had at least a one-hour drive home which gave me some good time to switch off, so as soon as I was at the beach I wasn’t thinking much about work anymore,” Mayer explains.  

“It is still a challenging thing for me even now though, but it is imperative that when I go home to my family that I switch off and do things that are not related to racing – even though we love racing and watching racing even in our free time, having other passions and interests are important to help you clear your head.”  

International Women in Engineering Day is celebrated on June 23 every year around the world, to honour women in the field of engineering. It focuses on raising the profile of women who are changing the field of engineering and has been recognised by UNESCO. It is held on June 23 each year in tribute to the anniversary of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), which was established on June 23, 1919. To learn more, visit 

PremiAir Nulon Racing will next be on-track for the Townsville 500 across July 5-7. For event information, visit  

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