the only way she's going to earn your respect is to dominate the sport?
Every step of the way she has to battle, from getting sponsors to working past the prejudices of her fellow riders, the fans in the stands and then she gets slagged here in the forums for only being an average competitor? She's one of the first females in the sport, ever, and you hold her to the standard of the top of the heap?
Doesn't matter. Even if there are only three in the sport, it is these types of awards, bringing notoriety to the few that ARE there, that will bring in more. The first few get the award for being pioneers. As they get established, the award starts changing focus towards being a reward for the actual performance. It's been that way with every sport women have entered.
They will not enter in a big way. Look at practically any motorsports. There was a book written (by a woman) condemning F-1 how they don´t give chances for women. Unfortunately she didn´t bother checking where the drivers come from i.e. the karting series: most of them have zero girls.