Race-car driver Leilani Münter to speak at Bridgewater College
Leilani Münter, professional race car driver and environmental activist, will speak on “Never Underestimate a Vegetarian Hippy Chick with a Race Car,” at Bridgewater College on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in Cole Hall.
How does someone whose livelihood involves getting only 1.3 miles per gallon of gasoline call themselves an environmentalist? Recognizing that Indy or NASCAR racing is “not an eco-friendly sport,” Münter has a strategy for minimizing an oversized carbon footprint. “I have a passion for racing, as well as protecting our planet,” she said. “I am committed to using this vehicle to introduce the millions of racing fans to the message of sustainable living.” Her goals include convincing auto racing executives to develop more fuel-efficient engines and eco-friendly venues.
Münter races in the ARCA Series, a development league of NASCAR. She is the fourth woman in history to race in the Indy Pro Series, the development league of IndyCar. She set the record for the highest finish for a female driver in the history of the Texas Motor Speedway when she finished fourth in 2006. Sports Illustrated named her one of the top 10 female race car drivers in the world.
To help offset her carbon footprint, she adopts an acre of rainforest each time she races and is a long-time vegetarian and eco-activist. Münter calls herself “Carbon Free Girl” and says her science background led her into activism.
Before starting her racing career in 2001, Münter earned a bachelor of science in biology, specializing in ecology, from the University of California in San Diego.
As an ambassador for the National Wildlife Federation, Münter is politically active and has made several visits to Capitol Hill to speak with members of Congress on behalf of clean energy legislation.
The program is sponsored by the Anna B. Mow Endowed Lecture Series and is open to the public at no charge.
Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1880, it was the state’s first private, coeducational college. Today, Bridgewater College is home to nearly 1,700 undergraduate students.