Friday, 11 October 2013

Speedqueens sends its condolences to the family and friends of Maria de Villota.


13th January 1980 - 11th October 2013

(Photo copyright Getty Images)

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Nancy Mitchell


Nancy with the MGA

Nancy Mitchell was one of BMC’s squad of British lady rally drivers in the 1950s, and competed all over Europe. Although  her career never reached the heights of that of Pat Moss or Anne Hall, she was still a versatile and respected driver, winning two European Ladies’ championships. She was a professional in her sport for many years.

Nancy got a relatively late start in motorsport, at 31. Douglas Mitchell, her husband, bought her an HRG sports car, a rare Aerodynamic model, and their first event together was the Eastbourne Rally in 1947. They apparently won one of the awards, although it is unclear which one.

Between then and 1950, Nancy entered not only rallies, but hillclimbs, sprints, trials and circuit races in HRG cars, first the Aerodynamic, then a faster 1500. Her results are proving difficult to locate, but she is said to have driven in the Alpine Rally and Alpine Trial at least once, as a member of an HRG works team. Her season in 1950 was apparently curtailed, due to a family situation, but she did manage a seventh place in a Silverstone international meeting race, in the HRG.

In 1951, she appears on the entry lists for the RAC and Scottish rallies, finishing second in the 1500cc Open class in the RAC Rally. She was second in the Ladies’ Open class to Anne Newton, later Anne Hall. She also competed in the Paris-St. Raphaël event and was second in class. Away from rallying, she drove a Healey Silverstone in hillclimbs, including the Rest And Be Thankful event, in which she was tenth in class.

From 1952, Nancy really showed her versatility, using the HRG and a series of other cars, including a Sunbeam Talbot. In this car, she drove in the Monte Carlo and Alpine rallies. She did not finish the Alpine after losing a wheel, but seems to have finished the Monte, driving as part of an all-woman team with veteran Elsie “Bill” Wisdom and Sheila van Damm. On the track, she managed second places in races at Silverstone and Castle Combe, in the HRG, and a fifth place at Silverstone in an Allard.

As well as rallying, Nancy competed extensively in hillclimbs during the 1950s, using several different cars, including a single-seater Cooper 1100, in which she set a ladies’ record at Prescott in 1953. She is also known to have hillclimbed in Cornwall, and taken part in the Lands’ End Trial.

Her rallying year was also quite busy. She drove in another Alpine Rally, in a Ford Zephyr this time, and was 36th overall. In the same car, she was sixth overall in the Lisbon Rally, winning the Coupe des Dames. She apparently drove a works Standard in the RAC Rally and an Alvis on the Monte, but the results have been lost. 

In 1954, she drove the Zephyr again on the Monte, starting in Glasgow. She used the same car for the Tulip Rally, and was 50th overall, with Joyce Leavens on the maps. Later in the year, she entered the Stella Alpina in an Austin Healey, but retired after an accident. She may have won a team award in the RAC Rally in a Ford Anglia, but the result has been lost, although she is down as an entry in that car. In British domestic events, she apparently competed in several different cars, including a Morgan in the London Rally, and a Triumph TR2 in the MCC National Rally, and had her last outing in the HRG.

Her hillclimbing highlight this year was a Ladies’ Record at Shelsley Walsh, set in the Cooper. It was to stand for three years.

1955 saw her driving for Daimler, in a Conquest. She scored her best result in the Monte Carlo Rally: 17th, navigated by Lola Grounds. Among the other rallies she contested was the Tulip event in the Netherlands, in which she was third in the Ladies’ standings. Driving the Daimler, she also won two circuit races, a Ladies’ race at Goodwood and a scratch race at Silverstone. 

The most remembered part of her career, her time with BMC, began in 1956. Nancy usually drove MG models, and her rallying year began with a 59th place in Monte Carlo, with Doreen Reece and Susan Hindmarsh. Nancy and Doreen also drove a Magnette in the RAC Rally, and seem to have finished. During the summer, Nancy and Pat Faichney were 15th overall in the Alpine Rally, third in class, with a Coupe des Alpes and the Ladies’ prize. Their car was an MGA. Nancy also drove it in the Liège-Rome-Liège rallies, with Anne Hall, finishing 26th, with a Coupe des Dames. She always preferred to compete alongside other women. Her achievements were enough to win her her first European Ladies’ Rally title this year.

Away from pure rallying, Nancy and Pat Faichney also drove together in the Mille Miglia, in the MGA (a famous car, still extant, christened “Mabel”).  They were 72nd overall, and first female crew.

Nancy and “Mabel” continued to work together in 1957. Nancy was 16th overall in the Liège-Rome-Liège Rally, with Joan Johns, and 32nd overall in the Lyon-Charbonnières Rally, with Doreen Reece. She won the Coupe des Dames both times, leading to her second European Ladies’ championship.

She and Pat Faichney attempted the Mille Miglia again this year, in a Triumph TR3, but they did not finish. Nancy had not abandoned circuit racing either, and managed a fourth place at Silverstone in June, driving an MG Magnette.

By 1958, “Mabel” was no longer Nancy’s first-choice car. She stuck with an MG, another Magnette this time, for the Monte Carlo Rally, with Joan Johns, but seems to have been unplaced. In the Alpine Rally, she drove an Austin-Healey 100-6 and was twelfth, two places behind the Coupe des Dames winner, Pat Moss. She drove the same car in the Liège-Rome-Liège Rally, finishing 15th overall, sixth in class, and helping BMC to the team prize. Later in the season, she was driving a Riley 1.5 in the RAC Rally, skidded on ice and ended up down a steep drop. She was not seriously harmed.   

1959 saw a partial change of team for Nancy; she was part of Ford’s Ladies’ team, driving a Zephyr. Alongside Anne Hall and Lola Grounds, she finished the Monte in 78th place. During the summer, she and Anne entered the Alpine Rally, run as the Critérium International des Alpes, but a broken propshaft put them out. Going back to BMC power, Nancy and Pat Allison finished the Portuguese Rally, in 54th place, in an early rally Mini.

Her final year of competition came in 1960. Her major events were in her favoured mountain terrain. The Monte only brought a retirement for Nancy and Pat Allison in their Austin Seven, but the Alpine Rally, her last rally, went better. She and Rosemary Seers were 24th overall, second ladies’ team, in a Sunbeam Rapier.

After retiring from the circuits and the stages, Nancy did not abandon the motoring world. She was the motoring correspondent for Vogue magazine, conducting road tests of luxury cars, for several years. She was also involved in motorsport administration, as part of the BTRDA.

She died in 1996. Some of her cars have remained in her family, and have even been entered into historic events by her daughter, Sue Chapman, and granddaughter, Anna Chapman. 



Monday, 15 April 2013

Saloon and Truck Racing in Australia


Ruthie Bowler

This post is about female racers in the saloon/production scene in Australia and New Zealand. This includes Ute racing. In recent years, there have been several women drivers who have started to appear regularly, and achieve decent finishes. For the results of female drivers in the Bathurst 12 Hours, please click here. For the equivalent drivers in New Zealand, click here. Christine Cole now has her own post, as do Paula Elstrek and Sue Hughes.

Amber Anderson - Australian driver who competes in touring cars, mostly Production racers, and sportscars. She began racing a Porsche 944, and still drives it on occasion. She drove in the Bathurst 12 Hours in 2007, 2008 and 2009, finishing fifth in the Porsche in 2009. Her 2007 car was a Toyota Celica, which she shared with Danielle Argiro. They did not finish. They competed together again in 2008, driving a Holden Vectra this time. During the 2007 season, they also drove in the Production Car championship in the Celica. In 2009 she did not race as much and concentrated on driving the course car for the V8 Supercar series. 2010 went in much the same way, but with three rounds of the V8 Supercar development series at the end of the season, with a promise of more in the future. In 2011, again, she did not do much official racing, although she took part in a motorsport reality TV series, competing for a race seat alongside other novice and underfunded drivers. She did not win. For 2012, she was close to a deal for the Fujitsu Supercar Development Series, which appears to have fallen through. She took part in three V8 Ute races, and remained involved as the series' safety car driver. 

Danielle Argiro - competed in three Australian Formula Three rounds in 2004, for the Piccola Scuderia team. She finished twelfth overall. That year, she also raced V8 Brutes, coming 23rd. Previously, she raced saloons at club level with some success, since the age of 17. After some time away from major events, she competed in the Bathurst 12 Hours in 2007 as part of an all-female team, driving a Toyota Celica. Her team-mate was Amber Anderson and they were 21st, sixth in class. She also raced a Holden Vectra in Australian Production Cars, sometimes with Amber Anderson as a co-driver in enduro races. She does not appear to have raced much since 2008, although she was ninth in the Golden Holden One Hour race in 2009, driving a Gemini with Kandice Cannon. She has also taken part in some Time Attack speed events, in a Commodore. 



Anne Bennett – raced in Australia in the 1960s. She was second in Class D in the 1964 Sandown 6 Hours, sharing a Toyota Crown with John Colwell. Previously, in 1962, she was one of the first female entrants into the major endurance race that became the Bathurst 1000, when she raced a Simca in the Armstrong 500 at Phillip Island. Her team-mates were Pam Murison and Diana Leighton. Anne may have been active in other saloon races in the early 1960s, but details of her career are very sketchy.

Samantha Bennett – raced as part of Lauren Gray’s all-female team in the 2012 Australian Production Car Championship, driving a Toyota Echo alongside Lauren and Maddison Gray. She was seventh in class E, and 50th overall, as she did not complete the whole season. Previously, she raced at club level, from at least 2009, when she competed in her regional Holden Gemini Championship. She also raced in sprint cars and production cars, at club level, and tested for the Suzuki Swift Cup, with support from the CAMS Women Drivers’ Development Programme. She does not appear to have raced since 2012.


Ellexandra Best - races in the Australian Production Car Championship. She drives for Lauren Gray’s team. In 2016, she drove a Toyota Echo in Class E, and was second in the class standings. Her best overall finish was twelfth, at Sydney. She was the youngest driver ever to compete in the series, at seventeen. Previously, she raced a Hyundai Excel, first in the 2015 NSW Excel Racing Series, and then in the 2016 Victorian Excel Championship.


Carly Black - raced a Renault Clio in the 2016 Australian Production Car Championship. Her best result was eleventh place, at Sydney, and she was 34th in the championship. This was her second time in the APCC, after she raced the Clio part-time in the series in 2014. In between, she raced in the NSW PCC, still in the Clio. She has been active in motorsport since at least 2008, when she took part in the Wakefield 300 enduro, in a Peugeot 206, finishing twelfth.

Ruth (Ruthie) Bowler - a regular in Aussie Racing Cars since 2008. Driving a Ford Falcon, she was 25th in her debut season. This improved to 19th in her second attempt, in a Yamaha Ford Coupe. Her form dipped in 2010, in the same car, and she was 21st, and the following season,  she only did two races. However, she bounced back in 2012, and was fourteenth overall, after a complete season. She raced in Aussie Racing Cars again in 2013, and is now the series’ most prolific female driver. She was 23rd overall, after a complete season. In 2014, she had another part-season in Aussie Racing Cars, driving an ARC 1940 Coupe for Armstrong Motorsport. She took part in four races for the team. Another complete season in 2015 gave her a championship 20th place, with a best finish of eighteenth, at Highlands and Phillip Island. She did not do quite as well in 2016, and sat out some of the mid-season races. Her best finish was 24th, and she was 28th in the championship. 

Kerryn Brewer - took part in various Australian Touring Car races in the 1990s. In 1996, she was fourth in the all-female Mazda 121 Challenge and second in the Mallala Commodore Cup. She was twelfth in the 1997 Bathurst 24 Hours with Melinda Price, the highest finish for an all-female team. She also entered in 1998, and came eleventh. During both of these seasons, she and Melinda Price competed together as the “Castrol Cougars”, driving VS Commodores. They were unable to complete full season due to a lack of funding, but made an impression nevertheless. After this, Kerryn faded from the scene.


Teigan Butchers – raced in the 2005 Australian Production car Championship. She used two different cars: a Proton Satria and a Citroen Xsara. She was not among the front-runners, and did not score points in the championship. 2005 seems to have been her only year of competition, and she now works as a physiotherapist and specialist personal trainer for people with disabilities.

Michelle Callaghan – raced saloons in Australia in the 1990s. She competed in two Bathurst 12 Hour races, in 1992 and 1994. The first time, she drove a Nissan Pulsar as part of an all-female team, with Tracey Taylor and Melinda Price. They were 17th, and fifth in class B. In 1994, she was partnered with Brian Callaghan and Chris Symmonds, in a Class A Toyota Corolla. She finished again, in 23rd place, and again fifth in class. Earlier, in 1991, she was tenth in the Winton 300, in a Toyota Corolla. Further details of Michelle’s activities are not forthcoming, although she did race in Formula Vee at some point.

Emma Clark – raced in Aussie Racing Cars in 2016. Her car was an Aurion, and she ran in support of ovarian cancer charities. She was not among the front-runners, with her best finishes being two 23rd places, at Phillip Island and Hidden Valley. Although 2016 was her debut year in Aussie Racing Cars, she had raced in club events for the past ten years, driving a Mazda RX-3.


Carole Corness – active in the late 1960s and early 1970s in Australia. She took part in the Hardie-Ferrodo 500 twice, in 1969 and 1970. The first time, she drove a Mini Cooper with fellow Queenslander  Ann Thomson, but did not finish. The second time, she drove a MkI Ford Escort, and was 42nd, alongside Gloria Taylor. The pair were sponsored by Women’s Day, an Australian magazine. In 1970, she also raced a “Super Bee” MGB with her husband, Iain Corness, and was active in ladies’ races held at Oran Park, possibly in a Mini.

Madison Dunston - races in the Aussie Racing Cars series. Her debut was in 2016, and she took part in nine races that year, in an Aurion. Sadly, she did not finish many of them. For 2017, she switched to an Altima, which proved more reliable. Her best results have been a pair of tenth places at Symmonds Plains. Prior to ARC, Madison spent one season in karting, moving up to senior competition at 16.

Mary Fabian – raced in Formula Gemini in Australia in 1978, driving a Holden Gemini. She was fourth in at least one race. Further details of her time in Formula Gemini are not readily available. In 1980, she raced in the Australian Touring Car Championship, for at least two races, driving an Isuzu-badged Gemini. Again, further details of her activities this season are proving hard to find. Her surname is sometimes spelled “Fabien”.

Maddison Gray - did two seasons of Production Car racing in Australia, driving for her sister Lauren Gray’s team. Her car in both 2011 and 2012 was a Toyota Echo Sportivo. Both times, she raced in Class E for a part-season only, so was not able to feature highly in the leaderboards. In 2013, she recorded a single tenth place at Phillip Island, but does not appear to have done much since then. As well as saloons, she is a regular Formula Vee racer, competing in state championships, also for Lauren Gray Motorsport. This was her main motorsport activity for 2013. In 2014, she competed extensively in Formula Vee, with Hendrick Racing. She tackled the Australian championship, for at least a part-season, and was twelfth in the Victoria state championship. She raced against her sister in some of the rounds. She made a small return to motorsport in 2016, driving a Eunos 30X in the Phillip Island round of Australian Production Cars. She was seventeenth. Later in the season, she drove for Team Brock in the Ken Leigh 4-Hour Endurance Classic. Her car was a Holden HQ Kingswood. She did not finish.

Tania Gulson – raced in Australian touring and one-make series in the 1990s. Her first major races were the AMSCAR Series events at Amaroo, in 1993. She drove a BMW 635 CSi, and managed to finish most of her races, but was not among the front-runners. She was driving for her father, Ray’s team, and was set to contest the Bathurst 12 Hour race with Ray and her brother, Graham, but she could not start the race, due to not qualifying. Later on, she did some one-make racing, including the Suzuki Swift GTi Cup in 1995. In 1996, she won the all-female Mazda 121 Challenge. Later, she raced motorcycles with her husband, Mark Bennett.

Sheryl Hanright - New Zealander who races in the Ssangyong Ute Racing Series. Her first season in the Ute was the 2015-16 winter season. This followed a title win in the NZ Holden HQ championship in 2015. At the time, she had been racing the car for almost ten years. She has also taken part in some NZ enduro races in it. So far, she has not been quite as successful in the Ute. At the time of writing, she is in 24th place in the 2016-17 Ute series.

Sarah Harley – races production saloons in Australia. She began in 2000, and between 2007 and 2011, she raced a Mazda MX-5 in production sportscar races, usually in her home state of Queensland, although she did make a trip to Mount Panorama in 2008, for the Production Sports race at the Easter meeting. In 2010, she took part in the Queensland rounds of the Mini Challenge, with a best finish of tenth, despite narrowly avoiding being involved in a serious accident where spectators were injured. After a couple of seasons in Rocketsports and small sportscar enduro racing, in the MX-5, she got herself a drive in the 2012 Bathurst 12 Hours, sharing a Lotus Exige with Christian Klien and Robert Thomson. They were second in Class C, ninth overall. The following year, she raced a Mazda 3223 Astina in the Australian Production Car Championship, winning Class E by two points. She also did some APCC races in a Honda Integra, and was eighth in Class D, sharing a car with Michael Gray. In 2014, she was back in the Mazda, and was fifteenth in the Willowbank 300. In 2015, she was tenth in the HQ Holden vs Gemini 1-Hour race, driving a Holden, but she does not appear to have raced since then.

Katilyn Hawkins – races a Suzuki Swift in a one-make series in Australia. She started in 2013, at the age of 20, with a short part-season. Her final finishing position was 20th. In 2014, she was tenth. After a slow start to the season, and some missed races due to car trouble, she managed a seventh  place at Winton, her home track. Her 2015 activities are unclear; the Swift was put up for sale in March. However, she was racing a Swift in November, when she took part in the Winton 300 race, finishing thirteenth. She carried on in the Swift in 2016, on a limited programme. She was eighteenth in the Phillip Island round of Australian Production Cars, and 31st in the Winton round of the Australian Endurance Championship. She also tested a V8 Supercar. 

Darrilyn Huitt – raced saloons in Australia in the 1970s. She entered the Bathurst 1000 once, in 1973, driving a Holden Torana with Pat Peck. They did not finish. Darrilyn drove solo in different classes, and also took part in some of the ladies’ races that were held at Oran Park in the 1970s, but details of her career are very sketchy. She may have been one of the drivers in a Renault 12 ladies’ race at Oran Park in 1977.

Lynne Keeffe – raced in Australia in the 1960s and 1970s. She raced in the Bathurst 500 twice, in 1969 and 1970. She did not finish the first time, driving with Christine Gibson. In 1970, she was 36th, driving a Mini with Arthur Olsen. Lynne started off competing in rallies in 1964, initially as a co-driver, then as a driver. She drove in the Southern Cross Rally at least five times, between 1966 and 1970, first as a co-driver, then as a driver. She won four Ladies’ awards, one for navigating, and three for driving, and her cars were a Volvo 122 and a Hillman. In 1970, she navigated for Sue Ransom in the Ampol Round Australia Rally. Lynne also competed in rallycross, but no results are forthcoming.

Megan Kirkham – raced Mazda cars almost exclusively between 1996 and 2002. She started much earlier, in the 1980s, in club events. Her car then was a Ford Escort. She competed in this car up to Production Championship level, before taking some time out for motherhood, and racing part-time along with her husband, Phil Kirkham. In 1996, she made a major comeback, and was one of the twelve women who took part in the Mazda 121 Challenge. For the following two seasons, she raced a Mazda 626 in Production events, including two runs in the three-hour Bathurst Showroom Showdown. Both times, she shared the car with Phil. Her best result was twelfth, in 1997. For 1999, the 626 was swapped for an MX-5, which she used in the GT Production championship, finshing fourth in Class S. A move to Class B in 2000 gave her a ninth place. The same car was good for sixth in Class E in 2001. She carried on in 2002, but the results are not forthcoming. After that, Megan retired again, and worked as the team manager for Phil and their son Declan. In 2012, she was set to do some more racing herself, with daughter Lyndsay, but it is unclear whether this happened.

Bronwynne Leech - racing in the Ssangyong Ute Racing Series in 2016-17, in New Zealand. She is driving a pink Ute, in support of breast cancer charities, having had the disease herself. Her team is named 4-D Cup, and will feature other drivers. She only began racing in 2016, initially in a Peugeot 206 that she raced as part of an all-female team in endurance events. Her co-drivers were Sheridan Broadbent and Wendy Metcalfe.

Brooke Leech - races saloons in Australia. She first started racing in 2010, by winning a CAMS “Young Guns” young driver’s sponsorship deal during her karting days. She was 17 years old. She did a full season in Aussie Racing Cars, driving a Holden Commodore, and was 28th overall. She also did a couple of Production Car races in a Holden Vectra, which she shared with Belinda Halliwell. In 2011, she moved into the Australian Swift Racing Series, a one-make championship. Despite missing out on a win, she was second overall, with four top-three finishes. She returned to the Swift series in 2012, but was only able to enter six rounds due to a lack of sponsorship. In 2013, she did some karting.

Bronte Michael – began racing in 2011, when she was only 16. She started out with a historic Datsun 120Y, which she used for two seasons in Queensland. Continuing in historics in 2012, she raced a Holden Torana and HQ, finishing twelfth in the Golden Holden One Hour race. 2013 saw her take part in the Suzuki Swift Racing Series, vying for a funded place in the championship in 2014. She was 19th overall. She also raced a Hyundai Excel in the Excel Cup, a series she returned to in 2014 for three races, finishing 29th, as well as some endurance events in the same vehicle. Mid-season, she did some rounds of the Production Championship in a Honda Integra, and had a best finish of eleventh, at her home track of Queensland. 

Cheryl Parnell – raced a Mini in New Zealand in the late 1970s, for at least three seasons. No actual race results are forthcoming, but pictures exist of Cheryl alongside her Mini, which was sponsored by Unipart in 1976. She continued to race in 1977 and 1978, until the car was sold at some point.

Pat Peck – raced from about 1969 to 1973, normally in a Ford Falcon or Holden Torana. She drove in the big Bathurst races on three occasions, between 1971 and 1973. Her first attempt gave her a 29th place in a Torana, with Jan Holland. The two raced against each other in 1972, but neither finished. She did not finish in 1973, either. During the same time period, she drove both the Falcon and the Torana in the big yearly Sandown endurance race, but does not appear to have finished any of them, either. After this, she continued to race karts, and had some success at club level. She now runs a chain of garages.

Charlotte Poynting – raced for two different teams in Aussie Racing Cars in 2016. This was her debut season, and it was mostly a learning year, but she did manage to win one race, at Hampton Downs, and was fourth in another, at Queensland. Her cars were a Camaro and an Aurion. She was 28th in the championship. Prior to her switch to cars, she raced karts in Australia for five years.

Nicole Pretty – raced touring and stock cars in Australia in the 1990s. In 1998, she raced a Holden Commodore prepared by her family team. She took part in the FAI 1000 Classic event with her brother, Nathan, but they did not finish. In 1999, she did another major touring car race, the Bathurst V8 300. Again, sharing the Commodore with Nathan, she was fifth overall. That year, she did some more races in the SCS series, including one at Calder Park, for which she did not qualify. After that, she seems to fade from the scene, although the Pretty family remains involved in Australian circuit racing.

Melinda Price - Australian. She has completed five Bathurst 24 Hour races and jointly holds the record for the highest all-female team finish. She was 12th in the 1997 event, driving a Castrol Cougar with Kerryn Brewer. During the 1997 and 1998 seasons, the pair competed together on and off. In 1999, she drove in the Production category of V8 Supercars, using a K-Mart-sponsored Holden Vectra. She has raced in a number of saloon championships and her best result is second in the Winton 6 Hours with Steven Richards in 1991, her first year of competition. They were driving a Nissan Pulsar. She was also second in the 1996 Mazda 121 Challenge, an all-female championship. In 2016, she made a comeback, after seventeen years. She raced a classic Lotus 20/22 single-seater in the Phillip Island Classic series, finishing 21st in the championship. At the Ken Leigh 4-Hour Classic Enduro, she joined Team Brock and raced a Holden HQ Kingswood, but did not finish. 

Sue Ransom - raced mainly in Australian touring cars in the 1970s and 1980s, in a variety of cars. Her earliest big races seem to be in 1973, in an Alfa Romeo GTV 2000. She was fifth in the Australian Touring car Championship in 1978, driving a Ford Capri. Her best finish was seventh, at Waneroo, and she was second in the under 3000cc class. She had previously used a Capri in 1977 for the Hardie-Ferrodo Bathurst 1000, and had come eleventh in the same race in 1975, driving a Ford Escort RS2000. During the 1980s, she moved more into drag racing, and even raced a jet car, the only woman to do so. However, she teamed up with Cathy Muller and Margie Smith-Haas for the World Endurance Championship race at Sandown Park in 1984. They drove a Ford-engined Gebhardt JC843, but retired early on, due to suspension failure.   


Gwenda Searle – raced production saloons in Australia in the 1990s. Her car in 1994 was a Suzuki Swift, and she was eighth in Class B of the Australian Production Car Championship. In 1995, she tried out a more powerful car, a Class C Toyota Celica, and a Toyota MR2 in the same class. She was driving for the New Woman magazine-sponsored Toyota team, and was second in Class C, with one win. That year, she shared a Celica with the Scots driver, Heather Baillie, in the Bathurst 12 Hours, but did not finish. Although she no longer races, she is still involved in motorsport, in development.

Caroline O’Shanesy – raced in the Bathurst 1000 three times, in 1973, 1975 and 1976. She drove a Mini for the first two attempts, finishing 26th and 27th. The third time, she drove a Fiat, but did not finish. She had been racing Minis on the Australian circuits since at least 1970, and was active in other touring car enduros in 1975, including the Sandown 250, which she did not finish. Caroline was also a rally driver, and remained active until at least 1989. In 1984, she was second in the Australian Rally Championship’s Production class, with Meg Davis, driving a Fiat Superbrava. She competed several times in the Rally des Femmes, a women-only event.

Helen Stig – raced in the Bathurst 12 Hours in 2007, as part of an all-female team in a Toyota Celica, with Amber Anderson and Danielle Argiro. The same year, she competed in the ThunderSports series, in a Toyota-powered car. She was 20th in the championship. This was her second year in ThunderSports, as she had driven the same car in 2006. Both seasons, she did particularly well in the AMRS 500 event, finishing third in both occasions, in the same car. She was still racing in 2015.

Alexandra Surplice - raced in Australian touring cars in the 1980s, usually in a Toyota. She made three Bathurst starts between 1980 and 1984. Her best result was 26th, in 1984. She also finished 28th in 1980, driving a Toyota Corolla with John Gates. In 1981 and 1982, she shared a Toyota Celica with Doug Clark for other Australian endurance races. Although their finishing record was patchy, they did manage a points finish at Oran Park in 1981. 

Hayley Swanson - began competing in sprints in Australia in a Subaru Impreza WRX in 2009. She switched to Aussie Racing Cars in 2011, in a Holden Commodore and Toyota Aurion, but only managed one race in each. In 2012, her career really took off, and she contested a whole season of V8 Utes. It was a learning year, and she was 25th overall after 21 races. In 2013, she entered three Aussie Racing Cars events, in a Commodore. Away from the track, she is a model, and she entered the Australian motorsport-themed reality show “Supercar Showdown.” In 2014, she raced her Impreza in the Winton 300, although she does not appear to have finished. She also raced a Holden in at least some events. She returned to the Winton 300 in 2015, in the Impreza, but did not finish. 


Gloria Taylor – raced saloons in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She took part in one Bathurst classic, the Hardie-Ferrodo 500 in 1970. She drove a MkI Ford Escort with Carole Corness, sponsored by the magazine Woman’s Day. They were 42nd overall. The year before, she had raced another Ford with another female co-driver, Pat Peck. They raced in the Datsun 3 Hours at Sandown, in a Falcon, and were listed as finishers. She is also known to have raced a Holden in Australian touring car events, in 1970 at least. She also drove in ladies’ races, often held at Oran Park, in cars belonging to her husband, Herb Taylor. She died in 1990.

Jane Taylor – raced at Bathurst, in the 12 Hour race, in 1992 and 1993. In 1992, she drove a Holden Commodore with Alf Grant and Peter Brierley, but did not finish. Sadly, her second attempt, in a Citroen BX, also ended in a non-finish. Her team-mates this time were Chris Wiles and Chris Clearihan. Jane may well have taken part in more races, but information is proving hard to track down. “Taylor” is the name of at least two racing or rallying families in Australia, and it is possible she is part of one of them.

Tracey Taylor – raced in the Bathurst 12 Hours in 1992, as part of an all-girl team with Michelle Callaghan and Melinda Price. They were 17th overall, fifth in class B. Their car was a Nissan Pulsar. Away from major saloon races, she was also involved in Formula Vee racing, and seems to have competed in New South Wales in the 1990s. Unfortunately, further details are proving hard to find.

Ann Thomson – driver from Queensland active in the late 1960s and early 1970s, beginning in 1966. She partnered Carole Corness in a Mini Cooper for the 1969 Hardie-Ferodo 500, but did not finish. Earlier, in 1968, she raced a Ford Cortina, a car she also rallied. Among her other cars were a Lotus Elan and a Holden Kingswood, which she drove in the 1970 Round Australia Rally. Later, she became more involved in the technical side of motorsport, acting as a timekeeper, and a Clerk of the Course for State-level rallies, in addition to serving on club committees. She is still active in her motor club to this day.

Midge Whiteman - drove in the Bathurst 500 race in 1967 and 1968, finishing both times. Her cars were a Morris 1100 and a Mini respectively. She was 36th in 1967, driving with Jane Richardson, and 41st in 1968 with Christine Gibson. Presumably, she entered other touring car races in Australia, but the results are not forthcoming.


Alexandra Whitley – Australian driver who races a Ute in New Zealand, as part of the SsangYong Actyon Ute series. The 2014-2015 season was her first in senior motorsport, after several years of karting. Despite a cautious start, by February, Alexandra was winning races. She was sixth overall, having been in contention for the title for part of the season. The following season, she added another win to her tally, as well as some more podiums. She will undertake her third Ssangyong season from 2016. 


Natalie Willmington – driver from a motorsport family who competes in different disciplines in Australia. She first raced in the 2006 Production Touring Car Championship, in a Mitusbishi Magna. She was on the pace straight away, and was third at the end of the year. Sadly, she did not finish the AMRS 500 enduro. Her second season in the APTCC was another success, and she was second, driving a Ford Falcon. Back in the Magna, she was sixth in the AMRS 500, driving with Simon Morison. Since then, Natalie has competed in drag racing and won burnout competitions. She now supports her teenaged son in his own motorsport career. 

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

Female Drivers Racing in Africa


Sandra Bocandé

This page profiles some female racers active sportscar and saloon racing in Africa. Mostly, they are Europeans who travel over to compete, but hopefully, more local African drivers will appear.

For African single-seater drivers, go here.

Ingrid Aupaix - Belgian driver who raced in Africa in 2011-2012. She was taking part in the Senegal Endurance Championship, in which she finished fourth, with her countrywoman Gaëtane Bachy. They drove for the Penelope and Divoy teams, using a Honda Civic and a VW Polo. They performed very well in the under-1300cc class. Before the Senegal endurance series, Ingrid was Belgium’s most successful female slalom driver, usually driving a Mini run by her family team. She seems to have returned to slalom and speed events in 2013 and 2014. 

Gaëtane Bachy - well-travelled Belgian racer. In 2011 and 2012, she raced in the Senegal Endurance Championships, beginning with the Dakar 12-Hour race in a Renault Clio. In 2012, she teamed up with Ingrid Aupaix in Africa, first in a VW Polo, then a Honda Civic. Their best finish was seventh, second in class, at the Dakar circuit. In Belgium, Gaëtane has also entered two 24-hour races for Citroen 2CVs at Spa, finishing once. In 2011, she drove in several slalom events, and one round of the Belgian “Gentlemen” Drivers’ Cup, in a Civic. Her team is normally Penelope Racing, and she sometimes uses the nom de course of “Penelope”. She is still actively involved in motorsport in Belgium, on the administrative side.

Samira el-Bennani – Moroccan driver who became the first African ladies’ circuit racing champion, and the first ladies’ champion of Morocco, in 1998. Her car was a Renault 5, and it was her first season of racing. The following year, she travelled to Spain, and competed there in the Renault Megane Supercopa. In 2008, she seems to have been active again, in a Renault Clio, taking part in a raced at Casablanca. In 2009, she raced in the Casablanca Grand Prix, in the 2000cc class, alongside her son, Mehdi Bennani. That year, she also drove a Legend car in the WTCC support race, and a Renault Clio in the Moroccan circuit championship, in which she was eleventh.  After that, she continued to compete, often in a Renault Clio. She was in action in 2014 in the Moroccan championship. As well as circuit racing, she has also competed in the Dakar Rally, in 2005, in a Mercedes.

Sandra Bocandé - Senegalese driver, active since 2010, after getting into motorsport through her photo agency work. After learning to drive in France, she competed in the Endurance and 2L Sprint championships in Senegal, in a Renault Clio run by 25 Racing. She won the second round of the Sprint championship, and was 20th overall in the Endurance series, after entering three races. In 2012, she drove a Nissan buggy in the Africa Eco Race with Pierrick Legendre, as a navigator. She was the first Senegalese finisher, and they were 30th overall. She was racing again in 2014, and was sixth in the Dakar 6 Hour race, with Laïla Chekir. They were driving a Renault Clio. In January, Sandra also won a ladies' race, the Ronde des Lionnes, at the Dakar circuit. 
Fabienne Lanz - Swiss/South African driver, based in South Africa. Her motorsport achievements have mainly come from karting, where she has earned good championship positions in various formulae, in South Africa, the Middle East and Europe. She has raced cars occasionally since 2011, when she drove a VW Golf in the South Africa Coastal Championship, winning her class. Since 2012, she has competed in two saloon endurance races in the Golf. She retired from the LUK 3 Hours at Port Elizabeth, but was fourth in class, with the Stephen2Racing team, in the Africa 6 Hours at Phakisa, in February 2013. She has also driven in hillclimbs in South Africa, and raced in Legends cars.  


Joy Monareng – one of South Africa’s first black female racers. She started in 2002, in the Sports 2000 series. Her first race was at Zwartkops, after winning a place on a racing development programme. She raced in Sports 2000 for at least three seasons. In 2003, she finished in the top ten of the championship. As well as Sports 2000, she has raced motorcycles, and competed in some rallies in the Gauteng province. She is a TV motoring journalist. 

(Picture from mezario.over-blog.com)



Tuesday, 12 March 2013

"Les Autres", 1980 - present day


Anne Baverey

During the revival of Speedqueens, I came across a number of drivers who did not fit well into the categories I had chosen for the site. Some of them had competed in several different disciplines, making it hard to place them in one. Others raced in slightly obscure disciplines, or in those I had decided not to cover fully.

In time, some of these entries may be moved to "better homes". Below is a list of jills-of-all-trades, non-US stockcar racers, speed eventers and entrants in events like the Tour de France, where it was unclear what their normal category was.
This page has been divided from its former location. “Les Autres” from between 1950 and 1980 can be found on the original page, here. For drivers competing in Africa, go here. Indian drivers, here. Truck racers now have their own post. Amanda Hennessy's profile can now be found here, Sarah Bovy, here, Francesca Linossi here, Lucile Cypriano here, Abbie Eaton here and Naomi Schiff also has her own post.


Tina Annemüller – raced in the Opel Astra OPC Cup section of the VLN in 2015. She was thirteenth in class, alongside her team-mates, Tatjana Hanser and Thomas Rehlinger. She also took part in the RCN series, in the same car. Tina is more usually involved with rallying, mostly as a successful co-driver. It was in this way that she got into motorsport in 2010, after working for a number of rally teams in the catering department. She has also driven herself a few times, driving a Renault Twingo in the ADAC Rallye Wartburg in 2012, and a Citroen DS3 in the Wartburg and Sachsen rallies in 2013. In 2016, she switched to the co-driver's seat and sat alongside German and Austrian drivers, including Michael Kogler. 
Florencia Barboza – Uruguayan driver who competes in both touring cars and single-seaters in her home country. She first made her mark on the scene in 2011, racing in both the Turismo Libre series, in a VW Gol, and Formula Vee. She was twelfth in Formula Vee, with one podium finish. 2012 continued in the same vein, with Florencia doing quite well in Formula Vee, scoring a third place at El Pinar and a sixth place overall. She also raced the Gol in Turismo Libre. In 2013, she concentrated on saloon racing, taking part in the Chevrolet Sonic Racing Cup, in which she managed two top-five positions. She returned to the Sonic Cup in 2014, and was part of its “Copa Damas”, which had its own dedicated all-female final race.

Marie Baus-Coppens - began racing in 2010, after some time karting in France. She entered the F4 Eurocup, but did not score any points, having a best finish of 16th, at Catalunya and Spa. Sticking with F4, she drove in the French championship in 2011, and did slightly better, managing a thirteenth spot at Pau. In 2012, she switched to saloon cars, in the form of the Peugeot RCZ Racing Cup, and fared much better. She achieved five top ten finishes, including a fourth at Magny-Cours, and was tenth overall. She continued in the RCZ Cup in 2013, but was not among the front-runners. In 2014, she raced in the SEAT Leon Eurocup. At the Nürburgring, she was eighth, early in the season. For the rest of the year, she could not match this, and she was 20th overall. In 2015, she drove in the SEAT Leon Eurocup again, but could only manage a fourteenth place at Barcelona as her best result. She also missed one race, at Monza, due to damaging her car. She was 24th overall. A third Eurocup season started more promisingly, with a ninth and eighth at Paul Ricard. She earned two more tenths during the season, and was 19th, after missing the first four races. 

Anne Baverey - Frenchwoman who tried her hand at various disciplines between the late 1970s and early 1990s. She rallied, raced in Formula Three and F3000, and attempted to qualify an Argo for Le Mans in 1990. The attempt, assisted by Ian Khan and Michael Dow and using a works JM19C, was unsuccessful. In the 1980s, Anne took up hillclimbing and soon became competitive. In 1985, she took part in historic hillclimbing and came eleventh in the championship. Using a BMW-engined Duqueine F3 car, she did very well in French climbs in 1986. She is still known in some French motorsport circles as “Le reine de la Montagne”.

Lilit Belovska – rally and circuit driver from Bulgaria. In 2010, she took part in the Bulgarian rally championship in an Opel Corsa, but sadly, did not finish any of her rallies. The same year, she entered some rounds of the Bulgarian touring car championship, with a best finish of ninth in class, at Drakon. In 2011, she raced in the Bulgarian circuit championships, in the Corsa. Her best finish was eleventh, at Veliko Tarnovo.

Ilona Bertapelle – began her racing career in 2014, in the Peugeot 208 Cup. Although her early performances were praised, she was not among the front-runners. Later in the year, she signed up for the Andros Trophy Trophée Féminin, which ran through until 2015. Her best result in her Camotos sprint-car was fifth, at Isola 2000. She was tenth in the championship. During the 2015 summer season, she raced in the Peugeot 208 Cup in France. She took part in the 208 Cup again in 2016, for No Limit Racing. Her mother is Patricia Bertapelle.
Marion Beule - winner of the 1986 Ford Fiesta Ladies Cup. She was second in 1985 and third in 1984, after using the series to get started in senior motorsport, in 1983. After that, she raced in the VLN, and then moved into single-seaters, spending two seasons competing in Formula Opel Lotus in 1988 and 1989. She was unplaced both times. In 1990, she and her brother Achim, who had previously driven together in karting and Formula Opel Lotus, entered the Ford Fiesta Mixed Cup together. They won a few races, and Marion was fourth in the Ladies’ standings. She retired in 1991.


Diana Carter (Polivka) - Canadian driver active between 1960 and 1967. She won the very first race she entered, driving a Volvo.  She often raced Volvo cars, and used a 122 to win the CRDA 2500cc+ Touring Class Championship in 1963, a first for a female driver. She also used a Sunbeam Alpine in Canadian Production races in 1964, sometimes sponsored by  Canadian Track & Traffic Magazine, for which she worked. As well as saloons, she sometimes raced a Formula Vee, and she apparently won a Ladies’ race at Nassau, although the results are not forthcoming. Alongside her circuit racing, she was also a rally driver, supported by the Volvo factory and the media for which she wrote. She entered the Canadian Shell 4000 Rally four times, between 1963 and 1966, and won the Coupe des Dames in the first three. After 1967, she concentrated on motorsport administration and her work in the motoring press.


Sonia Cha – winner of the Copa Corsa womens’ championship in Argentina, in 1999. She began her career in the Argentine ladies’ championships in the 1990s, before moving into the Tursimo Carretera (TC) series after her Copa Corsa win. From 1999 onwards, she shared a Chevrolet with Rene Zannatta in the TC series. In 2001, she did one race in the Kia Cup, before switching to rallying in 2002. That season’s car was a SEAT Ibiza, which she used in the Argentine Championship.
Jacqueline Dantec - successful driver in French hillclimbs in the 1970s and 1980s, usually in saloon cars, including an Opel Commodore. She also sometimes competed in circuit races, and did some rounds of the French Touring Car Championship. In 1978, she drove in the first two rounds, with a best of eleventh at Montlhéry. Her car was a 3500cc BMW 530. She may well have raced in the FTCC between 1979 and 1981, but the records are not readily available. However, she did reappear in 1982, in a BMW 528i. She completed just over half of the championship, with a best result of tenth, again at Montlhéry. She was 22nd in the championship.

Noor Daoud – racer and drifter from Israel/Palestine. In drifting, she competes all over the Middle East, in a BMW. She has also been active in mostly unofficial circuit racing in the West Bank since 2010, and is one of the “Speed Sisters”, a group of female racers from Palestine who have had a film made about them. In 2011, she raced a Formula Renault in the first legal Israeli race meeting, Formula Israel, in Eilat. She was third in a women’s race, and may have won another. Noor was born in the USA, and is a former international footballer for Palestine.

Florence Duez (L’Huillier) - mainly raced sports and GT cars in France and Europe, and was most active in 1998/99. She has driven Lotus Elises, Ferrari 355s and BMW Z3s. She drove the Elise in the 1998 Zolder 24 Hours, although she did not finish. Her best finish was probably fourth, with a class win, in the 1996 Spa 24 Hours. She was driving a BMW in an all-female team consisting of her, Yolanda Surer and Kathe Rafanelli. It was her second attempt at the Belgian classic. She performed well as part of another womens’ team in 1999, winning two class awards at the Nürburgring 24 Hours and finishing seventh. The car was a Carlsson BMW M3 and her team-mates were Ellen Lohr, Jutta Kleinschmidt and Claudia Hürtgen. She also did a few rallies, some of them in a SEAT Ibiza kit car, with her husband, Marc Duez, as her team-mate. Previously, she was a rally driver in the 1980s, driving a Citroen Visa.

Glory (Glorymar) Fernandez - Puerto Rican racer who competed in the 2013 Lotus Ladies’ Cup. She was ninth overall, with a best finish of second, at the Hungaroring. She began her motorsport career in autotest-type events in the USA, and has been active in club racing in the USA and the Dominican Republic since then. Her car is usually a Honda Civic. Between 2006 and 2009, she scored several good class positions in US and Dominican national and regional race series, in the Civic. Detailed information about the exact series and classes is proving hard to pin down. In 2014, she returned to the shortened Ladies' Cup. Although she managed one podium, a third at the Red Bull Ring, her two DNFs, and one subsequent non-start, dropped her to ninth in the championship. 

Sarah Franklin - active in British motorsport since 2004. She was originally set to make her debut in Formula Woman, but dropped out, in order to start her career on her own terms. She first raced in Formula Ford in 2004, as well as some sportscar racing, in a Ginetta G20. The Ginetta was her car of choice for some years after that. In 2007 and 2008, she did part-seasons in the Ginetta Championshipand the Club Ginetta series, as well as a couple of guest spots in the Porsche Carrera Cup. 2009 saw her try saloon racing, in Britcar, with an MG ZR. She carried on this path in 2010, in the Zing Trofeo Abarth, where she really started to show some results. Her best finish was fifth, and she was tenth in the championship. She kept it small the following year, in the Smart ForTwo Cup. This year, she won her first race, driving a Brabus Smart. In 2012, she went one better, and won her first championship, the B class of the Production Touring Car Trophy, in a Fiat 500 Abarth. She won 17 races that year. 2013 was very quiet, but she came back in 2014, and took part in the Clio Cup Road Series. She was third in the championship, with three third places. In 2016, she was third in the Clio Cup again, with one win. Sarah is not a professional driver, and works as a solicitor.

Noélie Gerus - has driven in French hillclimbs and rallies since 2002, winning her class on many occasions and the "Challenge Espoir" championship in 2004. She was also French ladies’ champion that year. Her cars include a Tatuus Formula Renault, Dallara F3 and a Peugeot 106.


Vivienne Geuzebroek – Dutch driver who competes in rallies and circuit racing. She started on the circuits in 2010, after getting her licence in 2009. Her first car was a BMW E30, which she used in the DNRT championship, as well as a BMW E36 318. In 2011 and 2012, she raced in the B18 category of the DNRT, and was third overall in 2012, a result she repeated in 2013. She returned to the championship in 2014, but was not quite as successful. She was third in the 2015 championship. Her rally career developed at the same time as her circuit activities. At first, she co-drove in rallysprints, before taking the wheel herself in 2014. She has driven the BMW and a Nissan Micra in the RallyPro Circuit Shortrally.  She carried on in rallies in 2016, in the Micra. Her best finish was eleventh, in the Zeebodem Short Rally.

Ernesta Globyte – Lithuanian driver active across the Baltic region. She made her first appearance in the Baltic Touring Car Championship in 2009, driving a BMW M3 in the Open class. She was instantly competitive, coming third in her first race, and winning the Open class championship. In 2010, she raced a BMW 318, and was not as effective, with a seventh at Pärnu as her best result. She was sixth in the Open class. In 2011, she switched over to sportscars, racing a Radical in the Radical Nevada championship, before making a part-time return to touring cars in 2012, driving a BMW GSR in some rounds of the Lithuanian championship, without much success. The situation was similar in 2013. The following year, she acquired a Ginetta G50, and was competitive once more, in the Baltic Open championship. Her best overall result was second, at Pärnu. She was also part of an all-female team for the Palanga 1000km, with Indrė Senkutė and Agnė Vičkačkaitė-Lauciuvienė. They drove a Renault Clio as the Sostena Renault team, but did not finish. As well as an all-female driving squad, their service crew were also all female. In 2015, she drove a Ginetta G50 in the Baltic Touring Car Championship, winning one race at Biekerniki, in Latvia. She was third in the 2016 Baltic championship, in the Ginetta, after a series of seconds and thirds. She also drove a BMW in the 4-Hour enduro at Parnu, and was seventeenth with the Samsonasracing.com team.

Leslie González – Mexican driver who has competed in several different disciplines. She began as a single-seater racer, and took part in the Mexican Formula 3 championship from at least 1997, until 2001. During her final season in F3, she was ninth overall. In 2003, she moved into saloon-based competition, and spent several seasons racing on and off in the Mexican Clio Cup. 2004 was her best year, and she was ninth. In 2005, she also tried out the Mexican NASCAR series. After a break from competition, Leslie returned to the track in 2015, racing a truck in the Freightliner Campeonato Tractocamiones (Truck Championship). She was ninth overall, and second female driver after Gisela Ponce.

Jade Handi - took part in the 2011 Dubai 24 Hours, driving a Renault Clio for Springbox. Alongside Amandine Foulard, Corentine Quiniou and Cyndie Allemann, she was tenth in class A2. As well as the Dubai endurance event, she has driven an Isuzu in the French 24-Hour All-Terrain rally, and other rally raids, in France, since 2010. In 2009, she competed in the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles, as co-driver to Syndiely Wade. Before that, she raced trials bikes and quads. She is better-known in France as a television presenter.


Jessica Hawkins - young driver making the transition from karting to cars, in 2014. As a junior, she won several karting championships, and featured strongly in some major ones. After winning a testing shootout sponsored by the BWRDC, in a Renault Clio, and a run in the Autumn Trophy, at Rockingham, she attempted to enter the Renault Clio Cup for 2014. This was in the face of  a series of battles for sponsorship. In the end, she only seems to have driven in two rounds, at Brands Hatch, but she was third and fourth. Later in the season, she raced in the British Formula Ford Championship, at Silverstone, scoring two tenths, and an eleventh place. She is being coached by former race-winner, and recent returnee, Jodie Hemming. In 2015, she chose the single-seater route, and entered the MSA Formula series. It was a difficult season, and she just missed out on a top-ten spot at Rockingham and Snetterton. She was 23rd overall. During the winter season, she raced in the MRF Challenge in the Middle East. She managed two fifteenth places at Bahrain. Mid-season in 2016, she joined Team HARD Racing for the VW Racing Cup, and was ninth and eighth at Brands Hatch, driving a Golf.

Helga Heinrich (Steudel) - German driver, originally from East Germany. She started out in motorcycle racing in 1960, and became the first female rider to win a major race, in 1965, at the Sachsenring. She switched to cars in 1970, using a DDR-made Melkus RS 1000 sports racer to begin with. Being an Eastern Bloc sportsperson, she competed within the Communist countries almost exclusively. Schleiz, in East Germany, was her commonest haunt. She achieved many top-ten finishes throughout the 1970s, in the RS 1000, and later, a Melkus Spyder and a single-seater. As well as races, she competed frequently in hillclimbs. She first retired in 1984, only making one more appearance in 1992. However, in 2007, she came out of retirement again, initially for historic events, but more recently, in modern single-seaters. In 2013, she raced a Formula Renault in the ESET Eastern European championship, at the age of 75. Prior to this, she had won a hillclimb championship in 2010. Although she does not appear to have raced in 2014, she still remains Germany’s oldest female racing driver.


Jackie Heinricher – American driver who raced in the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship in 2015, in the Lites class. She drove the Hyundai Veloster Lites car for Rhys Millen’s team. Her best result was a seventh place, at Daytona. 2015 is her first year of rallycross. In 2014, she raced in the Ferrari Challenge USA, finishing 19th overall. Her GRC drive in 2015 was combined with another run in the Ferrari Challenge, in a Ferrari 458, although she did not manage to finish at Daytona. She has also raced a Lola Formula 3 car at club level. In 2016, she did a part-season in the Blancpain Lamborghini Super Trofeo. 
Gwendolyn Hertzberger - Dutch driver who has raced single-seaters and touring cars. She began in 2004, in Holland, in saloon racing, before testing for several Formula Renault teams. She moved to Italy to further her career in 2005, and took part in a few Formula Ford races, as well as attending race training. She moved straight up to Northern European Formula Renault in 2006 and struggled, ending the year in 20th. She was 28th in 2007, and changed series in 2008. She took part in a couple of Formula Master races in Italy, scoring one pole position, then went back to the Low Countries to race a Marcos Mantis in the Belgian GT championship and Dutch Supercars. She was fourth in class in the Zolder 24 Hours. In 2009, she returned to karting. Since then, she has done some test driving, and motor journalism. 

Catherine Liegeois – has raced in Belgium since at least 2000, when she drove a Honda Integra in the Spa 24 Hours, with Alexandre Leens and Michel Wilders. They did not finish. In more recent years, she has been a regular in the Fun Cup 25 Hours, also held at Spa, driving a VW Beetle. In 2002, she was part of a team including the Belgian Education and Employment minister, Marie Arena. In 2014, she was part of the “Allur Girls” team put together by Frederic Bouvy, with Caroline Leens, Charlotte Martens and Marie Michiels. They were 60th overall.

Kattlyn (Kaká) Magno – Brazilian driver who began her senior career in 2012, in Formula Premium Light, a single-seater series. She also tried out the Veloce sports prototype series. In 2013, she mostly seems to have competed in kart races, but she did do some dirt-track racing in aid of a breast cancer charity. At the end of 2013, she was chosen as Brazil’s candidate for the FIA Women in Motorsport VW Scirocco-R Shootout, competing for a Scirocco prize-drive in 2014. She was not among the leading drivers. In 2014, she made some appearances in the Mercedes Benz Challenge C250 Cup in Brazil. She was second at San Pablo. She raced in the Mercedes one-make series again in 2015, but was not among the front-runners. In 2016, she changed direction again, and entered Formula Inter, a junior single-seater series in Brazil. She scored at least one second place. 

Emelie Mattsson – raced in the Renault Junior Cup in Sweden, in a Clio, between 2010 and 2012, following several seasons of karting. Her best overall finish was sixth, in 2011. Although she managed more top-five positions in 2012, her finishing record dropped her to seventh place. After apparently not competing during 2013, she returned in 2014 as a rally driver. She drove a MkII Volkswagen Golf in Swedish regional and national rallies. Her best finish was 19th, in the Härjedalsbrickan event. She also won her class. She was also 20th in the Offerdalingen rally, another snow event. In 2015, she won a club rally championship outright, in the Golf. She was fifth in a regional or club championship in 2016, in the same car. 

Marzia Mezzanotte - raced single-seaters and sportscars in Italy, in the early 2000s. In 2001, she did two rounds of the Italian Formula Renault 2.0 championship, at Monza. This came after some races in Formula Campus, and some testing in the Netherlands. In 2002, she moved into sportscar racing. Driving a Lucchini-Alfa Romeo, she was sixth at Monza, and qualified third at Magione before pulling out, in the Italian Prototype championship. The same year, she drove in the Vallelunga 6 Hours with Angelo Lancelotti and Fabio Spatafora. They were 20th, in a Chevrolet Corvette. Later, she was linked to a drive in the Maserati Trofeo, which she does not appear to have been able to take up.

Erika Monforte - Italian driver who entered her first races in 2006, driving a Citroen Saxo. That year, she won Italy's Formula Driver ladies' championship. Later, in 2009, she drove in the Fiat 500 Abarth Trofeo, and was eighth overall. In between, she took extensive training in rallying, and participated in the 2008 San Marino Rally. Her car was an Opel Astra, and she was 81st. In 2011, she returned to Fiats, and was ninth in the final standings. In 2012, she took part in some GTSprint events in a Porsche 997 GT3. She and Simone Monforte (her brother) were fourteenth and fifteenth at Mugello. After a break, she raced in the NASCAR Whelen Euroseries in 2014, in a Chevrolet Camaro. It took her a while to learn the car, but by the end of the season, her results began to improve. She managed two seventh places, at Magione and Le Mans, and was tenth overall. Her second Whelen Series season was cut short in 2015, after only six races, three of which she did not start. The best of these was a fifteenth place at Valencia. In 2016, she returned to the Whelen Series for another part-season, in the Elite 2 class. Her best finish was thirteenth, at Adria.

Sarah Moore - completed a season of the Ginetta Junior series in 2008. She managed to finish in the top ten six times, with a best result of sixth. This followed a part-season in 2007. As well as full-size cars, Sarah also raced karts. In 2009, she made history by winning the Ginetta Junior championship outright. She returned to the series in 2010 for a final year, but did not manage another win. She was seventh overall. In 2011, after turning seventeen, she switched to single-seaters and raced in the Intersteps Formula. Her best finish was fourth and she was sixth overall. She also did four races in the Smart 4Two championship, scoring two podium finishes. She continued in the 4Two series 2012, and scored a second at Spa and a two thirds at Snetterton. In 2014, she travelled to Germany, to compete in the VLN. She was racing in the Toyota GT86 Cup class, with Nigel Moore, her brother. They won the class twice. The pair returned to the VLN in 2015, and were second in the GT86 Cup, after winning three races.



Danuza Moura - first made her mark on the Brazilian motorsport scene in 1999, by winning the Women’s Corsa Championship. In 2000, she took part in the Corsa Metrocar championship, and won the ladies’ award, as well as one of the races. In 2001, she drove in both the Stock Car championship, and the Brazilian Women’s Ford Fiesta Championship. She was a front-runner in the Fiesta series, with race wins. Her car for Stock Car was a Vauxhall Omega, and she was 28th in the championship. For a few races, she also drove a Vauxhall Vectra in the Light category, but did not score points. After a break, she entered Formula Truck in 2004, for at least some rounds. She was not on the pace and did not score points. She does not appear to have raced after that.


Agnese Piazzalunga – raced in the Trofeo Maserati Europe in 2010 and 2011, in a Maserati GranTurismo. In 2011, she was thirteenth in one race at Monza. She has also raced motorcycles in endurance events in Italy. Her Maserati appearances were a comeback of sorts; she began racing as  a youngster, in Formula Junior at Monza, in 1983. She has also competed in Formula 3 and Formula 2000, in which she participated in 1984. As well as modern machinery, she has raced historic cars, and won the Giulietta Trophy at Monza in 2011. She also races motorcycles.

Klaudia Podkalicka - Polish driver who competes in rallying, rally raids and circuit racing. Her earliest motorsport experiences were rallies; she was involved in rallying from the age of 16, when she was part of the winning team in a regional championship in 2002 (co-driving). In 2004 and 2005, she navigated in local Polish club events, with some top-five finishes. She started her circuit career in one-make series, chiefly the Kia Picanto Cup in Poland. In 2006 and 2007, she was the series’ leading female driver, although she was only fifteenth and 17th overall. In 2007, she also raced in the Dacia Logan endurance cup in Germany, and was second, with her two team-mates. In 2008, she had put together a deal to enter the Dakar Rally, but it was cancelled. Between then and 2013, she competed in rally raids in and around Poland, scoring good class positions in the Baja Poland, and winning the prologue of the 2012 Rally Rabakoz Cup. She returned to circuit racing in 2013, for the Volkswagen Castrol Cup, in which she was 19th overall, with best finishes of eleventh at Poznan. Stage rallying had not been forgotten either: she has driven in three editions of the Rally Barbórka, in 2006, 2012 and 2013, in a Kia Picanto, Porsche Cayenne and Subaru Impreza, respectively. In 2014, she concentrated on rally raids. She was second in class T2 in the Baja Poland, in a Mitsubishi Pajero. At the start of the year, she was part of the service crew for Team Poland in the Dakar. She continued to compete in cross-country rallies in 2015, in Poland and Eastern Europe. Her results included a class win in the Baja Poland, and she was second in the T2 Central Europe Rally Raid Championship. She rallied a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII in 2026, with a best finish of 21st, in the Rally Barbórka. 

Edita Praskova – Czech driver who raced sportscars and single-seaters in the 2000s. In 2004, she was sixth in the Czech Prototype Cup, in a Skoda-engined Baghera. In 2008, she raced in Austrian Formula 3, for some rounds, although the results are not forthcoming. Between 2006 and 2011, she raced a Dallara F301 F3 car in hillclimbs in Europe. She won one event, at Orlicko, in 2007.

Simona Premrl - Slovenian driver who races in various parts of Europe. She began in 2012, after a relatively long career in equestrianism, from an early age. She won her first competitive event, a rallycross meeting in Slovenia, driving a Yugo. She continued to do rallycross in the Yugo in 2013, and figured quite strongly in the Slovenian national championship. As well as rallycross, she entered two rounds of the Central European Touring Car Championship, possibly in a Mini. She was 20th and 14th at the Slovakiaring. She does not appear to have raced in 2014. 


Mélina Priam – has raced on and off in France, and Europe, since 1995, when she took part in the French Formula Renault Championship. She did not complete the season, and was unplaced. For a long time, she concentrated on her main career as an automotive journalist and PR professional, returning to the track in 2008, in the French Porsche Carrera Cup. She did two guest races. In 2009, she tried her hand at rallying in a Suzuki Swift, and entered the Rallye Mont-Blanc-Morzine. In 2010, she drove a 1923 Ford Montier T in the Le Mans Classic, and she did some more classic motorsport in 2011, navigating in a Renault Dauphine in the Monte Carlo Classic.
Mathilde Riehl - French driver who has recently become known for her eco-friendly racing. In 2013, she drove an electric Renault Twizy car in the Andros Trophy, and in some French rallies. These included the Alsace Rallye de France, albeit as a course car. In the Andros ice-racing series, she was 17th, after one appearance at the St-Dié round. 2012 was her first year of major competition, at the age of 16 and without a full driving license. She competed in two different Peugeot one-make series for 207 models, one sprint and one endurance. As well as this, she drove in some rounds of the 2012 and 2013 French Clio Cups. She was 24th in the 2013 edition. After this, she returned to the Andros Trophy, in an electric car. During the 2014 summer season, she seems to have done some racing in a Ferrari, as well as some autocross, and a run in the six-hour Anneau de Rhin race, in the TTE. Later, she returned to the Andros Trophy, racing a buggy in the revived Trophée Féminin. A second Andros Trophy season followed at the end of 2015, again in the "Ice Girls" sprintcar championship. In 2016, she concentrated on working as a racing instructor, including work at her own women's driving school. Prior to this, she was involved in motorsport from an early age, alongside her family, as a marshal. 
Victoria Schneider - Austrian driver who has been racing in touring cars in recent years. She began her career in 1999, in Formula König in Germany, finishing 21st in the championship. Later, she seems to have been associated with Suzuki, competing strongly in their one-make Swift Cup in Austria, and winning it in 2008. In 2010, she was one of the front-runners in the circuit Suzuki Cup, and also in its rallying equivalent. She won her class in the Bruckneudorf Rallysprint. More recently, she has been racing a Mitsubishi Colt in central Europe, as part of a one-make series. She won this championship in Austria in 2012. In 2013, she raced the Colt in mixed-grid touring car races in central Europe, and managed some top-ten finishes. 

Iveta Slaboševičiūté - Lithuanian driver active in racing and rallying. She has competed in the Palanga 1000km race every year since 2005, usually in a Volkswagen Polo. Her best finish was fifth, in 2007, in the Polo, co-driven by Raimundas and Marius Slaboševičiūs. Her other cars have included a Vauxhall Calibra, and a BMW 120d in 2013. She also acts as a rally co-driver in Lithuania, navigating for Raimundas Slaboševičiūs and others. In 2012, she announced that she would be driving herself, but no results are forthcoming. She began her motorsport career in slalom competitions, in a Peugeot 206, in 2002.
Heather Spurle - finished 5th in the 2003 Bathurst 24 Hours, driving a Rollcentre Mosler MT9000R. Her co-drivers were Martin Short, Patrick Pearce and Charles Lamb. Previously, she drove in endurance races in Europe, and at Bathurst itself in 1990. She failed to finish the 1995 Nürburgring 24 Hours in an Opel Astra, and gremlins interfered again during the 1996 Spa 24 Hours. The British-born New Zealander has raced a number of touring and single-seater cars, as well as setting speed records on land and water. She was a regular competitor in the New Zealand junior formulae in the early 1980s and drove for the factory Peugeot team in New Zealand Touring Cars in the early 1990s. After a long lay-off and serious illness, she raced at Bathurst again in 2009, driving a Subaru Impreza. She and her team-mates were second in class G.

Rachele Somaschini - race and rally driver from Italy, who drives a Mini. She started competing in 2012, using a historic Alfa Romeo that belonged to her father. In 2015, she began racing the Mini, competing in the Italian Hillclimb championship. 2016 saw her take on the Mini Cooper Challenge on the track, and various Italian rallies. She won her class in the Mini Challenge and in the Italian hillclimb series. In rallies, she scored five class wins in Rally Show-type events, with a best overall finish of 22nd (out of 46), at the Motors Rally Show Pavia. Rachele is unusual in that she competes whilst living with cystic fibrosis. She uses her racing to raise awareness for the disease.


Rosário Sottomayor – Portuguese driver recently active in the Portuguese Ladies’ Rally Championship, after a long career in motorsport. Her car was a Skoda Fabia, and she scored two second places in the Ladies’ series, in mixed rallysprints, as well as four further class wins. she was third in the Ladies' series. In 2016, she drove a Citroen Saxo in the Azores Ladies' Rally Trophy, and was fourth in the championship, with two second places. Previously, she raced on circuits, and won her national Formula Ford 1600 title in 1993. She has also raced a Ford Fiesta at some point, and taken part in hillclimbs in saloon cars. Her latest track action seems to have been the Sport Prototype series, in a Radical, which appears to have been a return from some time away from the sport.

Kamila Stara – Czech driver who raced a “Formula Easter” historic single-seater between 2007 and 2009, in Eastern Europe. Previously, in 2001, she was very successful in hillclimbs, driving an 850cc Saab 96. She won a series of events around Europe. In 2004, she also took part in the Czech Protoype Cup, driving an Opel-engined PRC. She was sixth in the championship.


Clare Surtees - racing in the Ginetta Racing Drivers Club Plus series in the UK, in a Ginetta G40. This is her first time on track since 2013. Previously, she raced historics, including an MGB and a 1934 Singer Le Mans, which she used in races and hillclimbs as far afield as Australia. She has been active since at least 2008.

Hanna Tolstrup – former karter who raced in the Renault Junior Cup between 2010 and 2012. Her first two seasons were steady, but unspectacular, and she was thirteenth, then eleventh in the championship. In 2012, she became a regular visitor to the top five, and was rewarded with fifth overall. The same year, she did some junior rallying in Sweden, in a VW Golf. This carried on in 2013, although she also drove a Clio. Her mother, Susanne Tolstrup, was her navigator. In 2014, she carried on rallying, in club and regional events. Her car was still a Renault Clio. Her biggest result seems to have been a 48th place in the Eriknäsbosprinten rally.

Laetitia Tortelier – most recently seen racing in the Girl’s Twin Cup in 2015. The Twin Cup is an all-female French motorsport initiative, based on the Renault Twingo. Prior to this, she had been active in French motorsport for some years, including a run in the Peugeot 206 Sprint Cup in 2006. She has also raced internationally in endurance events. In 2012, she drove a Porsche 997 in the 24 Hours of Barcelona, and finished second in class, with three other French drivers. Their overall position was tenth. The following year, Laetitia, with the same car and team-mates, tackled the Dubai 24 Hours. They were 23rd overall, and fourth in class. She seems to have suffered some personal difficulty in 2016, and did not race. 

Anneli Vigh - raced in Swedish Formula Ford in 1989. She was fifth in the opening round, at Kinnekulle. Previously, she raced in the Lancia Lady Cup for at least one season, in 1986. She was fourth overall. Unusually, she was racing against her mother, Ulla-Britt Vigh, a founding member of the Swedish Lady Racing Club.

Magdalena Wilk - competes in both races and rallies in Poland. Between 2006 and 2009, she was a regular in the Kia Lotos one-make racing series, driving in the Picanto Cup. She gradually improved during her four seasons, and by 2009, she was eighth in the championship, with her first podium finish. After that, she moved into rallying, first as a co-driver, then as a driver. As a driver, she used a Kia Picanto to begin with, in 2011. That year, she was 59th in the Rajd Babórka, in the 1100cc Picanto. In 2012, she got herself some more power, first with a Renault Clio, then a Citroen C2. Her co-driver was Jolanta Zuk, and her best finish was 33rd, in the Rajd Czechowicki. After that, she returned to the navigator’s seat, in historic competition with Arkadiusz Kula. After a break, she resumed driving duties in 2015, in a BMW 318. Her best result was a 46th place in the Ziemi Bochenskiej Rally. 

(Picture from www.forum-auto.com)