Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Female Drivers in the 2011 Wales Rally GB

Becky Kirvan in action

The finale of this year's World Rally Championship concluded on Sunday, and was won by Finland's Jari-Matti Latvala in a Ford Fiesta.

A couple of Speedqueens took part in the rally this year: Australian Molly Taylor, driving a Ford Fiesta with Seb Marshall, dropped out on Stage 17, which gifted the Ladies' Cup to Becky Kirvan, who was 39th.

Despite Molly's non-finish, she was still able to claim fifth in the WRC Academy class, after winning one stage.

Becky was co-driven by Will Rogers, and was also driving a Ford Fiesta.

In the National B event, the fastest female driver was Sara Williams, who was 17th overall. She was driving a Subaru Impreza, with Patrick Walsh.

(Picture from http://www.beckykirvan.co.uk/)

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Hazel Dunham

Hazel Dunham was the daughter of Gerry Dunham, a gentleman racer who had competed in non-championship Grands Prix and many club races, sometimes in his own Alvis special. Hazel appears to have begun her motorsport career in a Rover, which could have been Gerry’s Rover Special, although it is unlikely. She did not share any of his other cars. The Dunham family were from Luton. Hazel was born in 1925, and took to motorsport when in her twenties.

Hazel competed in both circuit racing and rallying, achieving some success in both fields. She really put herself on the rally map in 1952, winning Coupes des Dames on the Tulip and RAC Rallies, driving the Rover. Her first award, on the RAC Rally, was in the Closed Car class. Her second was an outright ladies’ trophy. It is possible that she entered some British events prior to this, but the results are not forthcoming.

The Tulip Rally was probably her best event, and she entered it five times, between 1950 and 1954. One of her most frequent co-drivers was Charlotte Sadler, who was a racing associate of her father's from the 1930s, when she competed at Brooklands as Irene Schwedler. They drove the Rover together between 1950 and 1953, always as part of a three-woman team. It was Charlotte who helped Hazel to her 1952 Tulip Coupe des Dames. They were 31st overall.

She continued to rally the Rover in 1953, and is listed as an entrant in the Monte Carlo Rally, although she did not win any awards this time, and may not have finished. In the spring, she had driven the Rover in the Tulip Rally again, with Mrs. Armitage and Mrs. Howard as co-drivers.

The following year, she seems to have switched to an AC, and crashed out of the Stella Alpina. This appears to have been her last major rally.

In 1955, she moved from the stages to the circuits, driving an AC Ace that may have been the same car she rallied in 1954. She entered three races at Goodwood, all Ladies’ events. Her results were a third and two seconds, against tough opposition in the form of Jean Bloxam, Nancy Mitchell and Patsy Burt.

The following season, she continued to base her activities around Goodwood. The AC had now been exchanged for an MGA. Her first race, a ladies’ handicap, gave her a cautious fourth place, but her first big mixed handicap, later that day, led to a runner-up spot behind Mike Sleep. These positions were repeated in her next meeting, in July. After that, she ventured across to Crystal Palace in August, where she was fifth in an Invitation Handicap, and second in a Ladies’ Handicap, behind Jean Bloxam, a close contemporary.
Hazel’s last recorded outing is at Goodwood in September of that year. She was third in a mixed handicap and won her first Ladies’ race, ahead of Beatrice Naylor in her Lagonda.

After that, Hazel’s name vanishes from the entry lists. Her father retires at around the same time. It is not known whether Hazel retired completely, or married and continued to compete under another name. She was rather an enigmatic driver, and no reliable, widely available photographs exist of her. Although her career was rather short, she showed considerable skill and deserves to be remembered.
This short biographical post is a work-in-progress. If you have any information about Hazel, please get in touch.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Maria de Villota


María with the Atletico Madrid Superleague car

María de Villota was born in Madrid in 1980, the daughter of Emilio de Villota. From the ages of sixteen to twenty, she raced karts in Spain, after having won the first race she ever entered.

Her first experience of senior motorsport came from Formula Toyota in Spain, in 2001. She apparently won at least two races, at Albacete and Valencia, although the details are not forthcoming.

After a year of learning the ropes, she drove in the Spanish F3 championship between 2002 and 2005. During her first season, she was tenth, and thirteenth and twelfth positions in 2003 and 2004 must have been something of a disappointment. Both years, her best finish was fifth, earned at Jerez and Jarama respectively. In 2005, she switched down to the Copa España, and only drove in the first two rounds at Jarama, scoring a twelfth and a DNF.

After that, María left single-seaters for a while. Her main activity in 2005 appears to have been the Trofeo Pirelli Ferrari Challenge in Europe. Her car was a Ferrari 430, and she was part of the Baron Motorsport team with Tamara Vidali. The two shared a car for part of the season. Results for this series are rather fragmented, but Maria and Tamara were eighth and ninth in the championship, following some solid results. Away from Europe, she also drove in that year’s Daytona 24 Hours, with Luca Drudi, Luis Monzon and Gabrio Rosa. They were 24th in a Ferrari 360 Modena.

María continued in the Ferrari Challenge in 2006, and she managed a pole position at the final at Mugello, plus at least one top-five finish. She was eleventh overall.

In 2006, she made her first World Touring Car appearance, driving a Maurer Motorsport Chevrolet Lacetti. Driving for the Valencia meeting, she was 21st in her first race and did not finish the second. She repeated this exercise in 2007, finishing eighteenth and twentieth.

A major part of her 2007 season was taken up with the ADAC Procar championship in Germany, driving the Maurer Lacetti. Here, Maria fared much better, with a win and seven other podiums, out of fifteen races. She was third in Division I. Ferraris had not been forgotten either; she drove a 360 Modena in six rounds of the Spanish GT championship for Playteam. Her best position was a fourth at Estoril, although she only managed 21st in the championship.

2008 was another mixed year. Returning to single-seaters, she drove one race in Euro F3000, finishing seventh at Spa. She also raced in the Italian Superstars Championship, in a Chevrolet Lacetti. Her results have not been forthcoming.

At the beginning of 2009, she took a step down to contest Formula Palmer Audi in the UK. She was not one of the frontrunners, and only managed 22nd, due to quitting the championship after three rounds. Her best finish was seventh, at Silverstone. However, other opportunities came up, which she took. A guest spot in the Fiat 500 Abarth Trophy led to two retirements at Valencia, but more drives came her way.

Elsewhere, she competed in the Atletico Madrid car for the Superleague Formula. Her best finish was seventh at Jarama, and she was fifteenth overall, after three rounds.

The following season, she remained in Superleague, and improved her best result to fourth, at the Nürburgring. She also managed two other top-ten finishes at Magny-Cours and Brands Hatch: a sixth and a seventh.

Mid-season, she made a return to the Spanish GT Championship, for the Jarama and Albacete meetings. Her car was a Ferrari 430 GTS. At Jarama, she was third, and at Albacete, third and second. This was enough for seventh in the championship

In 2011, she stayed with the Superleague Formula. Atletico Madrid retained their entry, despite smaller grids and many more teams running as “national” rather than sports club concerns. Atletico Madrid only entered two rounds, Assen and Zolder, and were left in second to last place in the standings. Maria only managed a twelfth place, having crashed out in qualifying at Assen.

The big news this year was that María tested a Formula One car for the first time. In August, she drove a Lotus-Renault F1 car at Paul Ricard, in a serious test. The results have not been made public. Shortly afterwards, she did some demonstration laps in another Lotus at the World Series by Nissan meeting at Montmelo in October.

She did not get the Lotus seat, but she was signed up by the Marussia team on a multi-season development deal. She was set to start as a non-racing test driver, with a view to being eventually considered for a race seat.

Unfortunately, her first test for Marussia, at Duxford airfield in England, at the beginning of July, ended in disaster. Maria's car collided with a stationary transporter, and she received serious head injuries. The full details of the crash have never been circulated, but it is known that Maria lost an eye as a result. She did not race again.

In 2013, she made some public appearances, promoting an autobiography and taking part in some FIA commission activities. Sadly, she died suddenly on October 11th, aged 33.

(Image from automobilsport.com)

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Women drivers in Formula One tests since 1992


1992 marks the last time that a female driver, Giovanna Amati, drove a contemporary Formula One car in a Grand Prix. Since then, other women racers have been linked with F1 drives, although none has ever materialised.

There have been a few women who have tested F1 machinery, however; in most cases, the tests were well-publicised, but in one case, their status remains unclear. Below are details of these F1 excursions.

Sarah Kavanagh - Irish racer Sarah’s name was linked with more than one active Formula One team in the early and mid-2000s. She may well have undertaken some testing laps for at least one team. Statements made by the teams themselves about her have been ambiguous or lacking, so it is hard to gauge exactly what the nature of the testing was. In 2001, she passed a fitness test organised by McLaren, and confirmed by team director Martin Whitmarsh stating that “there is nothing in the results that suggest that Sarah could not drive a Formula One car right away”. Driving tests at Pembrey followed, but these were done through the Carlin Formula Three team, and did not involve F1 machinery. Again, this was confirmed by a positive statement by team owner Trevor Carlin. The tests did not lead to a racing or development seat.

In 2004, she was linked to a testing and development drive for the Jordan team, following her performances in a Jordan in EuroBOSS. The deal was said to have collapsed at the last minute due to a lack of funding, or due to contractual issues. The Jordan team made no official communications relating to this deal. It is not known whether Sarah ever did test a current Jordan.

At the same time, she was linked to a very similar role at Jaguar, which was confirmed by the team themselves. She was offered a testing and development seat in return for a sufficient sponsorship package to allow her to compete in British F3 with Carlin, as preparation. The package was said to be in the £1 million range. Sarah and her management were unable or unwilling to raise the money, and the testing went no further.

Sarah Fisher - IRL regular Sarah definitely tested a then-current McLaren-Mercedes F1 car in 2002. The test, which was more of a demonstration, was carried out in the very public arena of a support slot for the US Grand Prix at the Indianapolis road circuit.

The test did not lead to any further test laps, and was done more for publicity purposes than as genuine driver assessment. At the time, Sarah was one of the IRL’s most popular drivers, and Formula One wanted to capitalise on her fame, in order to promote itself in the United States.

Katherine Legge - prior to her Champ Car season, Katherine tested for the Minardi F1 team in 2005. The test itself appeared to be a genuine driver assessment, carried out at an official test day at Vallelunga. During the first day, Katherine spun her car after only three laps, damaging the front right suspension. The car was repaired for the second day, and she completed 27 laps, with a fastest time of 1:21:17, only sixteen hundredths of a second slower than official Uruguayan driver, Juan Caceres. She was faster than official Minardi tester, Chanoch Nissany.

Although Minardi boss Paul Stoddart pronounced himself impressed with Katherine, her test did not lead to a race seat. Minardi had already been sold to Red Bull at that point, and the new Toro Rosso squad was selected by them.

Maria de Villota - tested for the Lotus Renault team in August 2011. The tests took place at Paul Ricard as part of official sessions. Maria covered 300km in the 2009-spec R29, which would be enough for her to be awarded a Superlicence, should a race seat be offered to her. Eric Boullier, the Lotus team principal, described her as “not putting a foot wrong all day”. No lap times have been published.

Further to the test, Maria also did some demonstration laps at a World Series by Renault meeting, this time in a 2010-spec car. Negotiations to drive with Lotus were said to be ongoing, but no contract was signed. Maria was instead signed by Marussia, in order to undertake testing duties in 2012. She was seriously injured in an accident at her first test session, at Duxford airfield, and died in 2013.

Susie Wolff - signed as a development driver by Williams in 2012. She mainly concentrated on development work in the simulator, and the wind tunnel, but took to the track for the Friday practice sessions of the British and German Grands Prix in 2014. Her British session ended abruptly after only one lap, when the engine on the Williams failed. The German session threatened to go the same way after an electronic fault stopped her from changing gear, but the problem was rectified. Susie did several practice laps and some practice pitstops, and undertook some aerodynamic testing. She was 15th (out of 22) on the day's time sheets, and her best lap was 2/10 second slower than team-mate, Felipe Massa.

This was the first time since 1992 that a female driver has directly participated in a race weekend. She did some more Friday testing in 2015, but decided to retire mid-season, due to a lack of actual racing opportunities.

Simona de Silvestro - signed as an "affiliate driver" with Sauber, for the 2014 season. This was intended as a year of development and preparation for a possible race seat in 2015. As FIA rules strictly limit testing, her work was done in a 2012 Sauber car. In April, she completed at least 190 laps in a Formula One car, at Fiorano, and now qualifies for a Superlicence. She also tested at Valencia during the summer. No times have been published, although a short video was released of her Valencia test. Sauber managers were very positive about her performances in the media, and engineer Paul Russell stated that she had "drove well, had a good pace and was consistent." Simona herself keeps a relatively low media profile. Unfortunately, Simona's sponsor pulled out, leaving her unable to take up any further Sauber drives.

Carmen Jordá - signed as a development driver by Lotus, in February 2015. She will mostly be working on the simulator, with a possibility of some race weekend testing later in the season. Further details have not yet been announced.

Tatiana Calderon - announced as a development driver for Sauber in March 2017. She will work in the simulator, and undertake some testing duties.

(Image from http://photos.indystar.com/galleries/11311-starfiles-sarah-fisher-s-racing-career)

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Female Drivers at the 2011 Goodwood Revival


This year’s Goodwood Revival was one of the best I’ve attended yet in terms of on-track action: the right mix of audacious moves, skilful racing and beautiful cars. Highlights were the Whitsun Trophy, and the Freddie March Memorial Trophy for sportscars, although the single-seaters and motorcycles were all great. My Driver of the Meeting was Sam Wilson, a young male driver who won the Chichester Cup and Earl of March Trophy in fine style, driving a Cooper T59 and Kieft-Norton respectively. The Goodwood awards panel agreed.
Speedqueens were very much in evidence, although not among the winners this year. Desiré Wilson probably stood the best chance in the all– E Type Fordwater Trophy, but crashed out spectacularly through the circuit’s beleaguered chicane. She was unhurt, although she declined to drive in the RAC TT Celebration the following day. She was awarded a trophy for the fastest female lap of the meeting, at 96.6mph in the Jaguar.
Below are the results for all Speedqueens (and their team-mates) competing during the weekend.


Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy Race 1:
Sophie Smith/Tony Smith (McIntyre Matchless G50) - 16th
Race 2:
Sophie Smith/Tony Smith (McIntyre Matchless G50) - 19th


St. Mary’s Trophy Race 1:
Claudia Hürtgen (Austin Mini Cooper S) - DNF/NC


Fordwater Trophy
Desiré Wilson/Emmanuele Pirro (Jaguar E-Type) - DNF


Freddie March Memorial Trophy
Holly Mason Franchitti (Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica) - 23rd


Richmond Trophy
Niamh Maguire (Cooper-Bristol Mk1 T20) - 18th

Julia de Baldanza (Maserati A6GCM) - 21st


(Fordwater Trophy picture from http://www.ultimatecarpages.com/)

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Follow Speedqueens on Tumblr

Speedqueens is now also on Tumblr:

http://speedqueensmotorsport.tumblr.com

All of the usual profiles, statistics and articles will remain here. The Tumblr blog will have images, videos and news, and will be updated at regular intervals.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Paddie (Eirane) Naismith


Eirane Naismith, always known as Paddie, began her racing career inauspiciously, as part of Barbara Cartland's set-up race for "Society Ladies" in 1931. Billed as an erstwhile chauffeur to the Prime Minister, she either won, or came third in, the “Brooklands Society Ladies’ Handicap”, depending on which account one reads.

Despite the dubious beginning to her motorsport career, she actually became a decent racer. The following year, having lived down the Cartland débacle successfully, she won a bona fide Ladies' Handicap at Brooklands. There were ten entrants, including Fay Taylour and Elsie Wisdom, who had won the 1000 Mile race earlier in the year. She was driving a Salmson.

In 1934, she was third in two challenging Long Handicap races: the BARC First Long Handicap in July, and the First Kingston Junior Long Handicap in October.. Her car was a supercharged Salmson, which belonged to her lover, Sir Derwent Hall-Caine. This was her last Brooklands appearance, following a fine and a race exclusion for running over the lines at the track edge.

In the intervening period, she drove in the 1932 RAC Rally, in a Standard. The following year, she entered the event again in the same car, finishing 93rd in Class 3. She occasionally competed with her sister, Jill, in this vehicle, although Jill’s involvement with cars was mainly as a Concours d’Elegance entrant. The sisters owned a Ballot which they used for this purpose.

In between her racing exploits, she found time to gain her pilot’s license, and aviation increasingly took up her time. The high point of her career as an aviatrix was her flight to Australia in 1934, as part of the Centenary Air Race. As well as piloting her own aeroplanes, she also flew as a stewardess professionally.

Paddie was primarily an actress by trade, who appeared in small parts in a couple of feature films. She is most famous for being the image first transmitted as a colour television picture in 1940. John Logie Baird thought that her distinctive red hair would show up well on screen.

(Picture from http://www.historicracng.com/)

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Eileen Ellison


Eileen Ellison began racing in around 1930, perhaps slightly earlier. She was born in 1910, and was one of the younger members of the Brooklands ladies’ motor racing set. Her quiet, watchful demeanour and blond hair led some to believe that she was a German or an Austrian, who did not speak much English, according to Sammy Davis.

Her early involvement was as a car entrant, with Thomas Cholmondeley Tapper as driver in her Bugatti, and other cars. Eileen was wealthy and well-connected, and had access to any number of high-quality racing cars.

Her first major achievement was winning the Duchess of York's race for lady drivers in 1932. Her car was a a Bugatti T37. The opposition was stiff, and included Kay Petre (who was second) and Elsie Wisdom, both race-winners. The same year, she was third in the August Senior Mountain Handicap, driving with Cholmondeley Tapper.

The following year, she entered the Cobham Junior Short Handicap in the Bugatti, and finished second to Esson-Scott. In 1934, she was part of the all-female Singer works team for the Brooklands relay race, with Kay Petre and Sheila Tolhurst. They were fifth overall, after sandbagging when they discovered that the Ladies’ Prize could not be awarded to a top-three finishing team. As the Ladies’ Prize meant a Le Mans entry, they slowed down. For various reasons, Eileen never got to Le Mans, nor did Sheila Tolhurst.

Starting in 1935, she attempted several major races abroad, beginning in France. The Albi Grand Prix was one of her first, and she was seventh overall in the T37A after two heats, running as high as fourth in one race. Later, she was meant to drive in the Coppa Acerbo in Italy, but could not make the start for some reason.

Her best solo result was third, in the Voiturette class of the 1935 Lorraine Grand Prix. She was twelfth in the main standings, driving a Bugatti T40. Her Voiturette Bugatti was the T37. Both times, Cholmondeley Tapper finished one ahead of her.

In 1936, she travelled even further afield to race. She entered the South African Grand Prix in the T37, but could not finish, due to engine trouble. An entry into the Hungarian Grand Prix did not lead to a race appearance. Closer to home, at Limerick in Ireland, she shared a Maserati with Cholmondeley Tapper, and was second.

She is also said to have excelled at hillclimbs, by none other than Sammy Davis, in his book “Atalanta”. These are described as being “long continental climbs”, but results have proved tricky to track down. She is known to have raced a Maserati at Shelsley Walsh in 1936. The Continental events included the long Grossglockner climb, which she tackled in a Bugatti, and was once fourth in class. At the famous Klausen circuit, she is said by Davis to have been third in one event.

As well as Grands Prix and hillclimbs, Eileen also tackled the odd rally. She first entered the RAC Rally in a Bugatti in 1932, starting in London. She is also said to have driven in the same event in a Lagonda at some point.

After 1936, Eileen’s racing career seems to peter out, following one of her busiest years.

She lost her first husband, a fighter pilot, during the Second World War. She later remarried and settled in South Africa, scene of some of her earlier racing activities. She moved between here and Jersey until her relatively early death from liver cancer, in 1967. Her death is often attributed to jaundice, due to prejudices surrounding cancer in the past.

The relative merits of Eileen’s career are still debated today, with some observers regarding her as a talented driver, while others consider her a plucky amateur at best. She appears to have been one of those characters on whom everyone has an opinion, both during life, and after death.

(Picture from http://www.eileenellison.com/)

Friday, 9 September 2011

Germaine Rouault


Germaine and Odette Siko with a Salmson

Germaine Rouault raced in sportscar and Grand Prix races from the 1930s to the 1950s, as well as competing in rallies, as a driver and co-driver.

She was born in 1905, in France. Other biographical details are not forthcoming, and she was not often photographed, either.

Her racing activities included two attempts at Le Mans, in 1938 and 1950, which both ended in retirement. In 1938, she drove an Amilcar Pegase with Fernande Roux. They lasted 101 laps. In 1950, her team-mate was Régine Gordine, and her car an 1100cc Gordini-engined Simca.

Her earliest motorsport experience appears to have come in a Salmson, in 1933. She drove with Julio Quinlin in the Monte Carlo Rally. They also drove together in the same event in 1934. Some time early in her career, she appears to have competed with Odette Siko, probably in a rally, in a Salmson. The date of this is very unclear, but it is likely to be 1934.

Her career received a lift in 1935, when she raced Delahayes alongside Lucy O'Reilly Schell. Her first event was the Paris-St. Raphaël Rally in a Delahaye, probably a 135CS, with Lucy, who was then heavily involved with the Delahaye marque. They were second overall. The same year, she entered her first Grand Prix, the Marne GP, at Reims, in the Delahaye 135CS. She was fourth in the three-litre class, one behind Lucy.

In 1936, she drove the 135CS, which appears to have been her own car, in the Marseilles three-hour race. She was ninth out of fifteen finishers, although 28 drivers started. The quality of the opposition was high, and included Laury Schell, René Dreyfus and Albert Divo. It is likely that she entered the Paris-St. Raphaël, too, almost certainly in the same car. The following year, she won the event, probably still using the Delahaye.

The Paris-St. Raphaël was not her only activity in 1937: driving her own 135Cs once more, she entered the Marseilles 3-hour race and revisited the Marne GP. She was seventh in Marseilles, but did not finish at Reims due to an accident. Again, both races were against strong opposition.

In 1938, we see her next well-documented experience in a major mixed-entry rally. She won the Coupe des Dames of the Monte Carlo Rally, driving a Matford with a Madame d’Herlique. In addition to her first Le Mans experience, sportscars were definitely on the menu. Driving the Delahaye with Anne-Cécile Rose-Itier, she scored what was probably the best result of her career: third in the Paris 12 Hours.

At this point, the worsening situation in Europe meant that there was little circuit racing, although the winter rallies carried on to start with. Back in the Matford, Germaine entered the 1939 Monte Carlo Rally with Madame Bagarry as navigator. Driving solo in the Delahaye, she also entered the Critérium Paris-Nice road race, but did not finish. She entered the Paris-St. Raphaël once more in the Delahaye, and won the Saint-Eutrope hillclimb stage.

The next time we come across Germaine is in 1948. She returned to the Paris 12 Hours, this time driving an 1100cc Simca with Emmanuel Baboin. Unfortunately, she was only 27th this time. In 1949, back in a now-elderly Delahaye, she and Yvonne Simon drove in the Spa 24 Hours. They were eleventh, and won their class.

In 1950, Germaine’s name begins to appear on rally entry lists once more. Driving a Simca Eight with Régine Gordine, she won the Coupe des Dames on the Monte Carlo Rally, finishing sixteenth overall. The same pairing would tackle Le Mans later in the year.

The following year, it seems that she took a break from competition, but she returned in 1952. Making the trip over to Morocco, she raced in the 12 Hours of Casablanca with Gilberte Thirion. Their car was Gilberte’s Porsche 356. Sadly, the gearbox went and they did not finish. Germaine also renewed her partnership with Régine Gordine for the Tour de France. They were nineteenth overall in a Renault 4CV.

At this point, Germaine’s competition career really starts to wind down. She is described in some sources as a rally co-driver, and she may have co-driven in some rallies in France in the 1950s. The results of these are proving elusive, as is data about Germaine herself. She certainly made a comeback for the Monte in 1956, driving a Simca with Louisette Texier and Annie Soisbault.

It is known that very early in her career, she was one of the founding members of the French independent drivers’ association, alongside Anne Itier and Jacques Delorme.

(Picture found at http://www.forum-auto.com/)

Friday, 26 August 2011

Betty Haig


Betty Haig was born in 1906, the great-niece of Field Marshal Haig. She learnt to drive at an early age, and by sixteen, owned her own car. When she was old enough to drive legally, she moved through a series of increasingly sporty cars, including a Salmson and a Singer Le Mans.

Despite this interest, it was not until she was 29 that she entered her first motorsport event: the Paris-St. Raphaël Rally in 1935. She drove a Singer, partly backed by the factory, in exchange for reporting back on its performance. The Paris-St. Raphaël was chosen after Betty had seen it advertised, whilst travelling in France.

She was the winner of the 1936 Olympic Rally, driving a Singer, once more supported by the works team. This rally was centred on Berlin, tying in with that year’s Olympics. The car ran perfectly throughout the event, although it broke down on the way home from Germany. It is recorded in some places as the only car to have won an Olympic medal.

She is reported by some sources as having won the Paris-St Raphaël rally in 1937, on her third attempt, in an MG Midget. However, this is contradicted by some reliable sources. Betty’s win may have come in 1936, as there is a gap in the records there. If this is so, she would have been driving a Singer rather than an MG. Her other 1936 events as a Singer works driver included speed trials at Brooklands, and long-distance trials elsewhere.

In 1938, she drove in the Paris-St Raphaël again, for the last time before the war, in the MG. She was second, reportedly after being held up on a stage by another competitor.

Post-war, Betty took up motorsport once more, with even more vigour than before. Now, she was taking on major, mixed entry rallies, as well as trials and hillclimbs. In 1946, she won the 2000cc class on the Rallye des Alpes Françaises, as well as winning the Coupe des Dames, in a nine-year-old AC. Later, in 1949, she drove a Morris Minor in the Monte Carlo Rally, co-driving with Elsie Wisdom and Barbara Marshall. The same year, she entered the Rallye des Alpes Françaises again, winning the 1500cc class and the Coupe des Dames, with Barbara Marshall, in an MG TC. At this time, she was competing regularly in European hillclimbs, in her own BMW.

In 1950, she joined forces with Barbara Marshall once more for the Monte Carlo Rally, driving an MG. In 1951, she was back in the Paris-St Raphaël rally, finishing third, with a class win, in an MG TD. At some point, she is also described as having rallied a Healey 100 in this event.

Betty also raced on circuits, and partnered Yvonne Simon to fifteenth place in the 1951 Le Mans race, in Yvonne's Ferrari 166 MM. They were third in the 2000cc class, having challenged for the lead throughout.

Despite her seeming talent on the circuits, she rarely competed in major meetings, although she was a regular on the club motorsport scene in the UK. As well as circuit racing, she enjoyed a considerable hillclimb career, and held the Ladies’ record at Prescott for six years. Among the cars she owned and drove were an HRG, a pre-war Frazer Nash and models by MG and AC. In 1953, she raced an MG Magnette at Goodwood, coming third in a handicap race. In 1955 she drove in a Goodwood ladies’ Whitsun race in an AC Ace, and she raced a Climax-engined Elva in similar events the following year. It was her custom to favour British vehicles.

She continued to race and rally numerous cars until 1967. As time progressed, she stuck with the machinery of her heyday and was a regular on the burgeoning historic circuit. Her last competitive outings were in the Griffiths Formula, for 1940s and 1950s international sports racers. Towards the end of her career, she was a major force for the establishment of the Historic Sports Car Club.

She died in 1987.

(Photo from www.jmrw.com)

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Victoria Worsley


Victoria in her MG in 1930

Victoria was the daughter of a baronet. Despite her family’s title, she is said to have had little money of her own, and worked for her father, as a chauffeur.

She began her motorsport career in trials in 1928, after a lucky bet on a horse race allowed her to buy her first racing car, a Salmson. This car was her preferred choice for the 1928 season, and she is pictured driving it in various places. She continued to drive it in 1929, although she also had some outings in a Jowett, which she used in both trials and grass-track events. During this time, Victoria competed in both long-distance and high-speed trials, and had her first Brooklands experiences, during a speed trial.

After trying a few different cars, she bought an MG in 1930. She used it in that season’s Brooklands Double Twelve, and was 20th, seventh in class. Her team-mate was Derek Foster, and their pits were manned by various members of the Worsley clan and their social circle.

Victoria’s preference was for the longer, higher-profile races at the circuit, and her best finish was seventh in the 1931 Double Twelve, driving an Ulster Austin with Latham Boote. This was a difficult race, held at high speed in very wet conditions, and as hard on cars as on drivers. That year, the slower and more reliable small cars did particularly well. In addition to this major race, she also drove as part of a three-driver Austin team for the LCC Relay. They were eleventh, after leading the race for a while before the handicapped cars overtook.

In 1932, she drove another MG, a Midget, in the Brooklands 1000 Miles, with Joan Chetwynd. Joan and Victoria’s paths had often crossed at Brooklands, usually as rivals, and Victoria was probably the better driver. Unfortunately, they did not make the finish, following engine trouble. She also took part in the Light Car Club’s team relay race once more, but failed to finish that either. Her car is recorded as a “Worsley-Harris Special”, and her team-mates were one S. Watt in a Fiat, and A.M. Conan Doyle in a Frazer Nash.

She retired from motor racing after that season, following her marriage to Roland King-Farlow, who was involved in motorsports as a timekeeper. During her short career, she entered fourteen events at Brooklands.

Her niece, Katharine, is the Duchess of Kent, who is also related to the rally driver and Liechtenstein princess, Shelagh Brunner, on her mother’s side.

(Picture from Haymarket/Autocar)

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Margaret Allan


Margaret Allan was born in 1909 in Scotland. She had the good fortune to be born into a wealthy family where women were encouraged and expected to be accomplished and useful people. Her aunt was a Suffragette.

Her mother encouraged her to learn to drive, and she was soon acting as the family’s driver, in their large Lagonda. She became very interested in driving and cars in general, which led to an interest in motorsports. Apparently unimpressed by the trials drivers of the Women’s Automobile and Sports Association, she was allowed to enter the family car into one of their events, which she won. The event was part of the London-Gloucester Trial in 1930. Margaret continued to compete in the Lagonda, and entered her first Brooklands races in it. It was too slow and cumbersome to be competitive.

It was replaced by another, supercharged Lagonda by her father in 1932. Apparently, she entered it into that year’s Brooklands Inter-Club Meeting, but the result has been lost. However, she is listed as a finisher in both the RAC and Scottish rallies in this car, starting at Bath and Glasgow respectively. Her first rallying experience had come in that year’s Monte Carlo Rally, as co-driver to Eve Staniland, who finished tenth in the Light Car class, in a works Riley. Some sources have Margaret as winning a Coupe des Alpes and Glacier Cup on that year’s Alpine Trial. She certainly took part that year, in a Wolseley, but her results have proved hard to verify.

In 1933, Margaret acquired the first of a series of big Bentleys, a 4.5-litre model. She was particularly successful in this car, winning the Junior Handicap at the Inter-Club meeting, and coming third in a JCC handicap. She also won a Ripley Long Handicap at an Easter meeting, in 1933 or 1934. The Bentley even proved effective as a rally car, netting Margaret a twelfth place in the Large Car class of the Scottish Rally.

For most of 1934, she abandoned big Bentleys. Her main exploit at Brooklands was finishing third in the Light Car Club’s annual relay, driving an MG Magnette. Her team-mates were Doreen Evans and Irene Schwedler. This led to an entry in the 1935 Le Mans 24 Hours, despite gamesmanship from Kay Petre’s Singer team that won them the official Ladies’ prize. Elsewhere, Margaret drove a Triumph in the Monte Carlo Rally, starting at snowy Umeå in Sweden. She was 60th overall.

Her motorsport year in 1935 appears to have been dominated by her Le Mans appearance, the only one she made during her career. She was part of a semi-works MG team, led by George Eyston and comprising of six female drivers. Margaret shared her MG Midget PA with Colleen Eaton. They were 26th overall, the last of the “Dancing Daughters” over the line, but their measured race helped MG to the team prize.

Away from Le Mans, she finished the Monte Carlo Rally once more, driving an AC to 40th place from Umeå.

1936 was a busy year for Margaret. She started with a record run at Brooklands in a Frazer Nash, and managed to set a new Outer Circuit record: 127 mph. This preceded a move back to Bentley power, in the shape of “Mother Gun”, a 6500cc single-seater, so-called for the loud bangs its engine produced on a regular basis. Margaret was rather fond of, and adept at driving, very large-engined, powerful cars. This was in contrast to many of her female contemporaries such as Doreen Evans and Kay Petre, who competed most often in little Austins, MGs and Rileys.

Her earliest outing in Mother Gun, the March Short Handicap, resulted in her almost winning a Brooklands 120mph badge, although she was not able to keep up with the leading drivers. She won the badge, a rare achievement, during the Whitsun Long Handicap, which she also won. One of the abiding images of Brooklands is Margaret in this car, tackling the banking with one front wheel off the ground.

1936 was her last full year of competition. As well as her heroics in Mother Gun, she drove a Frazer Nash at Shelsley Walsh, and possibly in some Brooklands events.

In 1937, she married Christopher Jennings, another racer, and started a family shortly afterwards. However, this was not the end of her motoring exploits, as she carried on as an automotive journalist for many years. Her road tests remained in demand until she was in her eighties.

During the war, she drove ambulances and worked at Bletchley Park as a code-breaker.

In 1950, in order to show she had not lost her touch, she drove in one last rally, the Circuit of Ireland. She won the Coupe des Dames.

She died in 1998, aged 89.

(Picture from http://www.hvauctions.com/)

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Doreen Evans


Doreen in 1935

Doreen was born into a motoring family in 1916. Her two brothers, Denis and Kenneth, were both racing drivers, and their parents were long-standing members of the Brooklands set. All three Evans children learned to drive as soon as they were of age, and all three got their start in motorsport very young. They initially competed together in MG J2s, in sprints, hillclimbs and trials.

Doreen raced at Brooklands from the age of 17. Apart from Ivy Cummings, who was not an official competitor, she must have been one of the youngest women to drive on the Brooklands oval. Her next racing car was another MG, a Magna L-Type, and her first major event was the five-lap handicap at the 1934 BARC meeting, in July. A couple of weeks later, she was third again, in the Light Car Club’s annual relay race. She was part of a three-woman MG Magnette team backed by the MG factory. Her team-mates were Irene Schwedler and Margaret Allan. She finished one place above her brother, Kenneth, but failed to win the Ladies’ Prize, after the Singer team of Kay Petre, Eileen Ellison and Sheila Tolhurst exploited a loophole in the rules, stating that the Ladies’ Prize, and the Le Mans entry that went with it, could not be awarded to a team in the top three. They sandbagged and finished fifth. In October, Doreen won a Ladies’ Handicap on the Brooklands Mountain circuit in an MG Q-Type, defeating Fay Taylour and Bill Wisdom.

Using a rebodied version of the Q-Type, she won the Outer Circuit race at the Brooklands March meeting in 1935. In yet another MG, an R-Type, she and Kenneth entered the Brooklands 500 Mile race, but did not finish due to valve trouble.

Despite not winning the LCC Ladies’ Prize, she was part of the works MG team for Le Mans in the summer. George Eyston was managing a three-car ladies’ team of Midgets, all three of which finished. Doreen was in the middle in 25th, driving with Barbara Skinner. The team became known as “The Dancing Daughters”, perhaps after a radio show of a similar name.

Away from circuit racing, she competed in that year’s RAC Rally, driving an MG Magnette, and scored a class win. In May, secured the Ladies’ Record at the Shelsley Walsh hillclimb, driving the 750cc MG R-Type. In September, she was involved in a battle for that same record with Kay Petre, her rival who had risen to prominence at the same time. A mistake during the final run-off gave the award to Kay, in her White Riley.

In 1936, Doreen drove the R-Type at Brooklands, finishing third in the BARC Second Mountain Handicap. She entered the Brooklands International Trophy in the same car, but suffered a dramatic accident. Her car caught fire and crashed on the Members’ Banking, although she had slowed it sufficiently to allow herself to jump out. Although she suffered only minor injuries, the car was badly damaged. She was also scheduled to compete in the Tourist Trophy in an Aston Martin, but her team-mate, Alan Phipps, crashed out on the first lap, before she got the chance to drive.

Despite this setback, she married Phipps, and moved to America with him. Like her brother Denis, she stopped racing upon her marriage. Later, she earned her pilot’s license, and took up flying.

She died suddenly, at home in California, in 1982.

(Picture from burblers.com)

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Female Drivers in Touring Cars in Italy



Italy has produced a fair number of female saloon racers. Some, such as Tamara Vidali and Romana Bernardoni, reached the highest echelons of touring cars and have their own dedicated posts. Others competed in the Italian CIVT series, or in Europe, or in one-make series.

Jessica Amendola - Italian driver who raced in the Euro Racecar NASCAR series in 2013, finishing eighteenth at Monza in a Ford Mustang. This was a comeback for her, as she started racing in 2000 and had to stop, due to funding issues and later, motherhood. Her first races were in the VW Fun Cup, and she also tried Formula Junior, although finances prevented her from progressing in single-seaters. In 2010, she raced an Exige in the Lotus Cup in Italy, and a Renault in the Megane Trophy. Her return in 2013 also took in the endurance rounds of the SEAT Ibiza Cup in Italy, where she drove alongside Nicoletta Bologna. She was the fastest lady driver at Franciacorta. In 2016, she was involved with a Merzario Academy, and drove a Ferrari, probably in a demonstration run.

Adele Arata – mainly known as a hillclimb driver, in the 1980s, usually driving a Fiat Ritmo or a Simca Rally. Her cars were run with minimal preparation, and were virtually in road trim. Unsurprisingly, she was never competitive, but she competed regularly nonetheless. In 1988, she tried circuit racing, in a Fiat Uno, entering some rounds of the CIVT touring car championship in Italy. She managed to finish three of her four races, with a best result of 16th in class.

Emanuela Bellini - raced in the Alfa Romeo 33 Trophy in Italy in 2006. She was not among the front-runners, but gained some notoriety for a spectacular crash in the wet at Magione. She continued to race the 33 for some time afterwards, reappearing in the championship in 2008, but by 2010, the car had been sold.

Leonida Bellini - competed in at least two seasons of senior Italian motorsport. She took part in the Renault Clio Cup in 2003 and 2004. In 2003, she managed at least two top-ten finishes, an eighth at Magione and a third at Vallelunga. In 2004, she was only 19th in the championship. Previously, she was active in karting in Italy, and won the National 125cc championship in 1997.

Nicoletta Bologna – probably best known for racing hybrid cars in Italy. She took part in two seasons of the Green Scout Cup, in 2011 and 2012. She was fifteenth in the championship in 2011, and 19th in 2012. Both times, her car was a Kia Venga. Previously, she raced a Porsche Cayman in the Cayman Cup in 2010, having taken part in a women’s Porsche series in 2008. That year, she also raced a Fiat 500, a car she returned to in 2009, again, in its one-make trophy. In between, she has competed in karting, on tarmac and ice. In 2010, she made one guest appearance in the Italian touring car championship, driving a Mini for BMW. As well as racing, she has tested a wide variety of cars.

Deborah Broccolini - active in Italian club motorsport on and off since 1988. She competed in the CIVT throughout the 1990s after some years in junior formulae, but retired for ten years in 1997. As of 2007, she has mainly raced Alfa Romeo cars, particularly the 33, which she used in its one-make cup in 2007 and 2008. After that, she drove it to fifth overall in the Alfa Romeo Touring Cup. In 2011, she drove an Osella sportscar in Italian hillclimbs. In 2012, she also tackled Italian hillclimbs, but in a Citroen C1. She won her third Italian ladies' hillclimb title in 2013, and defended it in 2014, along with a class championship.

Laura Cagnoni – winner of the Ladies Cup in the Citroen C1 Cup in Italy, in 2006. She won the ladies’ class in all but one of the races. After that, she does not appear to have competed much, although she co-drove a Porsche Cayman in the 2007 Mille Miglia, with Italo Fontana.

Martina del Castello – raced in the CITE in 2015, driving a BMW M3. Her co-driver was Roberto del Castello. Her best finishes were two fourth places at Pergusa, and she was tenth in the championship, alongside her team-mate. They were seventh in Division One. 2015 looks to have been her first season of racing. She is better known as a downhill skier.  

Katia Ciancabilla - raced in the Citroen C1 Cup in Italy in 2008. She was 21st overall. As well as competing herself, she is the team manager and press officer of the Scuderia Grifo Corse team, which competes throughout Europe, mainly in sportscars. She did some more C1 Cup races in 2010.

Luisa Croca – competed in the 1971 Italian Touring Car Championship, driving an Autobianchi A112. At the time, the series consisted of both circuit races and hillclimbs. Luisa only ever raced on the circuits, and did not enter any of the climbs. She normally finished quite well in her class, and her best overall result was ninth, in a Group 2 race for small-engined cars at Monza, near the start of the season. Monza appeared to be a favoured track for her. This looks to have been her only season of racing at this level, and almost no other information about her exists.

Carlotta Fedeli – raced in the CITE in 2015. Her car was a SEAT Ibiza, and she ran in the one-make section of the championship. She won the Junior and Ladies’ titles. 2015 was her third season in a SEAT: in 2013, she raced in the Cupra Ibiza Cup, and in 2014, the Castrol Cupra Cup. Both of these championships involved four-hour endurance races. She did a fourth season in a SEAT in 2016, racing in the Leon Cup. Her best result was a second place at Mugello, and she would have been a contender for a top-five championship result without a DNF and an indifferent round mid-season. This drive included guest appearances in the TCR International Series in Italy. In 2013 and 2012, she also raced a BMW Mini in Italy, managing one podium in 2012. Her first year as a competitive racing driver was 2011, when she took part in the Italian production touring car championship, in the Mini. Before that, she was active in karting.

Angela Fontana - raced an Abarth 1000 TC in Europe in 1963, including a run in the Nürburgring 12 Hours with Attilio Zuppini. They did not finish. In the 500 mile race at the same circuit, they were twelfth, driving a Fiat-Abarth 1000 Berlina. In the Nürburgring 12 Hours of 1962, Angela drove yet another Abarth, a Fiat 700, with Fulvio Sestilli. They were 22nd and fourth in class. That year, Angela won two Italian GT races, at Monza, driving solo. Her car was a BMW 700. She also competed in hillclimbs in an Abarth.

Alexandra Gallo - raced GT and touring cars in Italy in the 1990s and 2000s. She drove an Alfa Romeo SZ in the Italian GT Championship in 1994, winning the GT4 class at Vallelunga. The same year, she drove an Alfa Romeo 33 in the CIVT touring car series, winning its Ladies’ award. She had been active in the championship since 1991. Later, in 2004, she drove a Jaguar in the Superstars series, alongside Tamara Vidali, an old CIVT rival. She also competed in the Maserati Trofeo Corse. She now works as a journalist and F1 broadcaster.

Stefania Grassetto - raced touring cars in Italy early in her career, competing in the Campionato Italiano Velocita Turismo between 1994 and 2001 in a variety of smaller cars. Her best result was a race win at Monza in 1998, driving an Opel Corsa. She was the ladies’ champion four times and entered the Six Hours of Vallelunga three times, winning her class once in 1996. After a year racing historics, she entered Formula Gloria in 2003, doing two complete seasons and winning the ladies’ award in 2004. In 2005 and 2006, she also raced in some rounds of the Maserati Trofeo, before returning to Formula Gloria. Another hiatus in the Italian Diesel Endurance Cup occurred in 2008, and she was fifth overall in a BMW 120d. She returned once more to Formula Gloria in 2009, and was fourth in her first race back. She returned to karting in 2010, as part of an all-female endurance team, then moved into historic racing, in a Porsche 911, in 2011. After that, she turned to racing Minis, first in the 2012 Mini Rushour series, then the 2013 Mini Challenge, in which she was 17th overall. She returned to historics in 2014, racing a Porsche 911. She now plays golf competitively.

Liliana de Menna - stalwart of the Italian touring car scene who was active from 1963 to 1994. She won a saloon championship in her first year of racing, winning nine races outright. Her car was a 600cc Fiat 500 Montecarlo. The following year she won Class 2 of the Coppa Carotti mountain race. Later in her career, she raced sportscars, including a Nissan 300ZX in 1992 and a Mazda RX-7 in 1994.

(Image from http://www3.varesenews.it/)

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Updates

I've been taking a break from Speedqueens while getting on with other things for a while, but from now on, I'm going to be updating the blog again.

Pages for Le Mans and the Indy 500 now with 2011 results.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Female Drivers in the 12 Hours of Sebring: Part II, 1980-present


Deborah Gregg

In 1999, the stewardship of the 12 Hours of Sebring passed from IMSA to the American Le Mans Series, which currently runs the race. It has also been part of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup since 2010.

Women drivers have continued to enter the race most years, with some success, although there was another serious lull in their numbers in the early 1990s. Liz Halliday is the race's most successful female driver, after her second place in 2007 with Clint and Jon Field. However, Lyn St. James has recorded several class wins and top ten finishes, as well as seven separate entries, which is a female record.

Below is a list of the more recent women's results. As always, the female driver is always mentioned first in the case of a mixed team, for clarity.

1980
Vicki Smith/Klaus Bitterauf/James Moxley (Porsche 911) - 24th
Lyn St. James/Ralph Kent-Cooke (Porsche 935) - 49th

1981
Kathy Rude/Divina Galica (Mazda RX-7) - 31st
Vicki Smith/Tom Alan Marx/Bob Lee (AMC AMX) - 42nd
Elizabeth Kleinschmidt/Charles Kleinschmidt/Alan Levenson (Chevrolet Corvette) - 70th (withdrawn)

1982
Vicki Smith/Klaus Bitterauf/Scott Flanders (Porsche 911) - 22nd
Desiré Wilson/Janet Guthrie/Bonnie Henn (Ferrari 512 BB/LM) - 26th

1983
Lyn St. James/Reggie Smith/Drake Olsen (Nimrod NRA-C2) - 5th
Deborah Gregg/Kathy Rude/Bonnie Henn (Porsche 924 Carrera) - 35th
Carmen Lista/David Marks/Roy Newsome/Bobby Diehl (Chevrolet Camaro) - 47th
Patty Moise/Tom Nehl/Nelson Silcox (Chevrolet Camaro) - 60th
Vicki Smith/Klaus Bitterauf/Scott Flanders (Porsche 911) - 68th

1984
Deborah Gregg/Jim Trueman/Alfredo Mena (Porsche 924 Carrera) - 63rd
Vicki Smith/Klaus Bitterauf/Arvid Albanese (Porsche 911) - 65th

1985
Patty Moise/Les Delano/Andy Petery (Pontiac Firebird) - 9th

1986
Patty Moise/Les Delano/Jeremy Nightingale (Chevrolet Camaro) - 12th

1987
Linda Ludemann/Scott Schubot/Lance Jones (Tiga GT285) - 15th
Lyn St. James/Tom Gloy (Ford Mustang) - 31st

1988
Lyn St. James/Deborah Gregg (Mercury Merkur XR4Ti) - 8th
Linda Ludemann/Scott Schubot/Jim Miller (Spice SE88P) - 51st

1989
Linda Ludemann/Scott Schubot/Tom Blackaller (Spice SE88P) - 25th

1990
Lyn St. James/Calvin Fish/Robby Gordon (Mercury Cougar XR-7) - 6th, class win
Linda Ludemann/Scott Schubot (Spice SE88P) - did not start, fire in qualifying

1993
Bernadette Hubbard/Ludwig Heimrath, Jr./Ken McKinnon/Tom Rathbun (Porsche 944) - 42nd

1994
Lilian Bryner/Enzo Calderari/Renato Mastropietro (Porsche 911 Carrera RSR) - 9th
Linda Pobst/Kat Teasdale/Leigh Miller (Chevrolet Camaro) - 42nd

1996
Lilian Bryner/Enzo Calderari/Ulli Richter (Porsche 911 Carrera RSR) - 47th

1997
Claudia Hürtgen/Michel Ligonnet/Zak Brown/Dirk Layer (Porsche 911 GT2) - 10th
Lilian Bryner/Enzo Calderari/Ulli Richter (Porsche 964) - 14th

1998
Lyn St. James/Jeret Schroeder/Tom Volk (Kudzu DL-4) - 17th
Giovanna Amati/Craig Carter/Andy Petery (BMW M3) - 32nd

1999
Melanie Snow/Martin Snow/Patrick Huisman (Porsche 911 GT2 Evo) - 9th, class win
Claudia Hürtgen/Hubert Haupt/Zak Brown (Porsche 911 GT2) - 39th

2000
Claudia Hürtgen/Hubert Haupt/Vic Rice (Porsche 911 GT2) - 31st

2001
Claudia Hürtgen/Mel Hawkins/Steve Knight (Lola B2K/40) - 30th, class win

2002
Milka Duno/Scott Maxwell/John Graham (Panoz LMP07) - 45th

2003
Melanie Paterson/Jason Workman/Ben Devlin (Lola B2K/40) - 47th

2004
Milka Duno/Justin Wilson/Phil Andrews (Lola B2K/10) - 22nd
Amanda Stretton/Christopher Stockton/Gareth Evans (TVR Tuscan)  -24th

2005
Liz Halliday/Clint Field/Gareth Ridpath (Lola B2K/40) - 33rd

2006
Liz Halliday/Clint Field/Jon Field (Lola B05/40) - 2nd, class win

2007
Liz Halliday/Darren Turner/Antonio Garcia (Aston Martin DBR9) - 11th
Andrea Robertson/David Robertson/Arie Luyendyk, Jr. (Panoz Esperante GTLM) - 34th

2008
Andrea Robertson/David Robertson/David Murry (Ford GT-R) - 24th

2009
Andrea Robertson/David Robertson/David Murry (Ford GT-R Mk.7) - 14th

2010
Andrea Robertson/David Robertson/David Murry (Ford GT-R Mk.7) - 22nd

2011
Andrea Robertson/David Robertson/Boris Said (Doran Ford GT) - 26th


2012
Keiko Ihara/Jean-Denis Deletraz/Frederic Fatien (Lola B12/80 Coupe) - DNF

2014
Katherine Legge/Andy Meyrick/Gabby Chaves (DeltaWing DWC13) - DNF
Christina Nielsen/Henrique Cisneros/Kuba Giermaziak (Porsche 911 GT America) - DNF

2015
Christina Nielsen/James Davison/Brandon Davis (Aston-Martin V12 Vantage) - 16th
Katherine Legge/Andy Meyrick/Memo Rojas (DeltaWing DWC13) - DNF

2016
Keiko Ihara/Ben Devlin/Joel Miller/Tom Long (Mazda Prototype) - 8th
Katherine Legge/Andy Meyrick/Sean Rayhall (DeltaWing DWC13) - 21st
Christina Nielsen/Alessandro Balzan/Jeff Segal (Ferrari 458 Italia) - 22nd
Ashley Freiberg/Jens Klingmann/Bret Curtis (BMW M6 GT3) - 23rd

2017
Christina Nielsen/Alessandro Balzan/Matteo Cressoni (Ferrari 488) - 17th
Katherine Legge/Andy Lally/Mark Wilkins (Acura NSX) - 30th

(Image from www.f1rejects.com)

Female Drivers at the 12 Hours of Sebring: Part I, 1955-1979


Anita Taylor, Donna Mae Mims and Janet Guthrie in 1966 (not at Sebring)

The 12 Hours of Sebring is the second-oldest sportscar race on the calendar, after Le Mans. It has run almost continuously since 1952, with only one break, caused by the 1974 energy crisis.
After one year as a non-championship event, the 12 Hours was run as a World Sportscar Championship round between 1953 and 1972, when it became an IMSA GT event. Its early-season position makes it a favoured early shakedown for Le Mans.

Beginning in 1955, women drivers have competed at Sebring in most runnings, although there was a lull in the 1970s. Below are their results between 1955 and 1979. Denise McCluggage was the most frequent starter during this period, and Isabelle Haskell has the highest finish: eighth, with a class win.

The rest follows here.

1955
Isabelle Haskell/Dick Irish (Bandini) - DNF
Greta Oakes/Sydney Oakes (Austin-Healey 100M) - DNF

1956
Margaret Wyllie/M.R.J. Wyllie (Lotus Mk IX) - 24th
Isabelle Haskell/Alejandro de Tomaso (Maserati 150S) - DNF

1957
Gilberte Thirion/Nadège Ferrier/G. Spydel (Renault Dauphine) - 35th
Evelyn Mull/John B. Mull (AC Ace) - DNF
Margaret Wyllie/M.R.J. Wyllie/Charles Moran (Lotus Eleven Le Mans) - disqualified
Isabelle Haskell/Alejandro de Tomaso (OSCA MT4 750) - DNF

1958
Isabelle Haskell/Alejandro de Tomaso/Robert Ferguson (OSCA S750) - 8th, class win
Denise McCluggage/Ruth Levy (Fiat-Abarth 750 Zagato) - DNF
Margaret Wyllie/M.R.J. Wyllie/Chuck Dietrich (Elva Mk. II) - DNS (accident in practice)

1959
Isabelle Haskell/Alejandro de Tomaso/Denise McCluggage/Ricardo Rodriguez (OSCA S750) - 18th
Smokey Drolet/Fred Lieb (Turner 750 Sport) - 43rd
Margaret Wyllie/M.R.J. Wyllie/Skip Lange (Elva Mk. IV) - DNF

1960
Denise McCluggage/Marianne “Pinkie” Windridge (OSCA 187S) - DNF

1961
Denise McCluggage/Allan Eager (Ferrari 250 GT) - 10th, class win
Peggy Gelder/Ed Gelder/Jim Fuller (Elva Courier) - 35th

1962
Denise McCluggage/Allan Eager (OSCA S1000) - DNF

1963
Denise McCluggage/Christabel Carlisle (MG B) - DNF

1964
Donna Mae Mims/Alan Pease (Austin-Healey Sprite) - DNF

1966
Donna Mae Mims/John Luke (Yenko Stinger) - DNF

1967
Denise McCluggage/Marianne “Pinkie” Windridge (Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Spyder) - 17th
Suzy Dietrich/Donna Mae Mims (ASA 411) - not classified
Smokey Drolet/Anita Taylor (Alpine-Renault A110) - not classified
Liane Engeman/Janet Guthrie (Matra Djet 5S) - not classified

1968
Janet Guthrie/Liane Engeman (AMC Javelin) - not classified
Donna Mae Mims/Michael Summers (Yenko Stinger) - not classified

1969
Janet Guthrie/Donna Mae Mims/Liane Engeman (Austin-Healey Sprite) - 23rd
Smokey Drolet/Rosemary Smith (BMW 2002) - 26th

1970
Janet Guthrie/Rosemary Smith/Judy Kondratieff (Austin-Healey Sprite) - 19th, class win
Donna Mae Mims/Jim Corwin (Chevrolet Corvette) - 21st

1971
Janet Guthrie/Rosemary Smith/Jennifer Birrell (Chevron B16) - DNF

1974
No race due to fuel crisis

1976
Janet Guthrie/Stephen Behr (Chevrolet Monza) - 63rd

1978
Lyn St. James/Luis Sereix/Phil Currin (Chevrolet Corvette) - 17th
Kathy Wallace/Tom Wallace/Gene Rutherford (Oldsmobile Cutlass) - 53rd

1979
Bonnie Henn/Lyn St. James/Janet Guthrie (Ferrari 365 GTB/4) - 17th

(Image from http://www.1966shelbynotchbackmustang.com/PhotosRingFree.html)