Sunday, 1 August 2010
In the late 1990s, Suzi Hart-Banks was one of the fastest women on the British national racing scene. She first came to prominence racing a V8 MGB GT at club level in 1995, in the BCV8 series. Her father, Warwick Banks, was also taking part. That year, she started from pole five times, won nine races, set nine fastest laps and four lap records, including one at Silverstone.
In 1996, she changed to more modern machinery and entered the Ginetta G27 championship. In this car she proved herself to be a talent to be reckoned with, coming fourth in the championship. In 1997 she really cemented her credentials as an expert driver by finishing second, with three wins, five seconds, four pole positions and four fastest laps.
Now a professional driver, Suzi returned to MG power in 1998, for the MGF Cup. She was driving for Moy Motorsport and did not disappoint ,finishing third in her first race, second at Croft and coming fourth overall out of twenty-eight drivers, including Piers Johnson and MGF specialist Jamie Hunter. This year, she also drove in one round of the British GT Championship, at Silverstone. She and Charlie Cox were eleventh in a Saleen Ford Mustang.
Funding troubles meant that Suzi was off the radar for the 1999 season, but she returned in 2000, driving for the Freightmaster team this time. Her team-mates were Charlotte Osbourn and Annie Templeton. Unfortunately, her season was dogged with problems this time and a couple of accidents prevented her from starting all of the twelve rounds. She could only manage eighth in the final standings.
After this, Suzi left the world of motorsport for the time being, to go travelling around the world. She does not appear to have raced since.
(Image source unknown)