As a timekeeper for Formula One Management Ltd., Emily Billingham works all over the world for the UK motorsport industry.
Timekeeping is a really important element of motorsport events and Emily and her team are responsible for recording and monitoring data, timing car performances and logging competitors times and positions in a race. Using a variety of equipment from hand-held stopwatches to complex electronic timing systems, she accurately measures driver’s times to a thousandth of a second. Emily told us about her job in motorsport
“My story is about chasing a dream and not giving up! I was never one for wanting to go to uni, so if I can inspire young people to follow their heart with my experience, then that’s really cool!”
After gaining nine GCSEs, Emily started full time work in the finance sector, but spent her weekends working as a race results distributor during the UK motor racing season. She was passionate about racing and didn’t mind working five days a week in her regular job and giving up every weekend to indulge her love of motor racing in order to pursue jobs in motorsport.
Emily has definitely reaped the rewards of her dedication, despite a few setbacks early on in her career. “I originally applied for this job two years ago, before landing the role I have now.” She told us. “On that occasion I wasn’t deemed experienced enough in the specific area of timekeeping and I was not offered a second interview. I was heartbroken, but I took it on board and became a trainee timekeeper within the industry in order to stand me in better stead if opportunities for similar jobs in motorsport arose again. They did, and I was successful… It just took me two years of patience and learning new skills to get one of the best jobs in motorsport.
“As far as my training is concerned, the company I work for now has a large budget for improving employees’ skills and personal development is greatly encouraged —so far I have travelled to Singapore, Japan, India, Brazil and the USA. The work is extremely intense and I work long hours but the worldwide travelling is definitely a perk.
“There are plenty of ways to get involved and get jobs in motorsport, from working with a team, volunteering as a marshal or timekeeper or getting involved in a racing club – look at the Motor Sports Association website. Be prepared to start at the bottom and don’t expect to work in Formula One or World Touring Cars straight away but if working if you fancy giving jobs in motorsport like timekeeping or marshalling a go, contact a race circuit near you. Marshals are always in high demand and what better way to get close to the action and the cars than to be trackside?! For more info visit our automotive careers page.