Sunday, 5 September 2010

Female Rally Drivers After 1950: the Rest of the World

Natasha Chang

This post rounds up a few drivers from countries not quite covered by the other posts. I am hoping to add to it soon. Kozue Oi can now be found in the Japanese drivers post. Malaysian drivers now have their own post. 

Natasha Chang - Jamaican driver, active since 2007, when she took part in a TV-sponsored driver search. Her first rally was Rally Jamaica. Previously, she had done some drag races, speed events and autotests. She rallied a Mitsubishi Lancer in Jamaica in 2008 and 2009, as well as in Rally Trinidad. Her best finish seems to have been second overall in the Raynor King Memorial Stages Rally, in Jamaica. She was set to make a comeback in 2012, but appears to have switched to circuit racing, at least temporarily. In 2015, she represented Jamaica in the Caribbean circuit racing championship in Guyana, driving a Honda S2000. She has suggested that she will be making a comeback in 2018.

Sarah-Jane Gopaul - rally driver from Trinidad. She began competing in night-time club events in 2008, after getting into motorsport through marshalling. It appears that she entered Rally Trinidad in 2011, and she may well have been thirteenth, according to some results lists. She entered Rally Trinidad again in 2014, in a Mazda 323, but did not finish. She usually drives Mazda cars, and carried on in the 323 for the 2015 and 2016 Rally Trinidad. In 2016, she finished the event in fifteenth place. Away from rallying, she is a teacher, which takes up a lot of her time.

Yana Pelenichenko - one of Kazakhstan’s leading rally drivers. The Kazakh rally scene is quite small, and Yana is part of a team aiming to raise its profile. Her first rally, the Rally Stepniye Volki in 2012, resulted in an eighth place. Her car was a Citroen C2, which she has continued to drive since then. In 2013, she managed two fifth places, in the Sapsan and Vostochnyy Marafon rallies, and also travelled to Italy for her first European event, which was the Rally Ronde Prealpi Mastershow. She drove a Subaru Impreza and was 94th. In 2014, she continued to be very competitive in her home country, still in the C2. She was sixth in the Sapsan and Saryagash Rallies. Unfortunately, she also had quite a few retirements. She does not appear to have competed in 2015, but she came back in 2016, still in a C2. She was eighth in the Rally Sapsan. A repeat of this car and rally pairing in 2017 resulted in a fourth place. 

Hui Lan Shen – Taiwanese driver competing internationally. She started as a navigator, and co-drove for Lin Yuan-Hu in the Mabanol Rally Sliven in Bulgaria, in 2012. Their car was a Renault Clio. The same pairing drove a Ford Fiesta in the 2014 Guizhou Jinsha Rally in China, but did not finish. In 2014, Hui Lan took the wheel herself, and made a guest appearance in the Dacia Logan Cup in Romania. She was 33rd in the Raliul Perla Harghitei. In November, she drove a Fiat Abarth 500 in the Rally China Longyou, but did not finish, after locking up the brakes and almost going over a cliff.  

Jodie Summerbell – Jamaican driver active in her home country. She drove a Mitsubishi Mirage in the 2005 Rally Jamaica, and was fourteenth overall. The year before, in 2004, she was seventh in the St Bess Tarmac Rally, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer. This was at least her second attempt at the St Bess event, in which she won her class in 2004, with an eighth overall, in the Mirage. She also raced a Mitsubishi Colt on circuits, and won at least one race outright. She is no longer competing.

Pantelitsa Yiangou – Cypriot driver who mostly competes in rallysprints, in Cyprus. She began in 2011, in a Subaru Impreza, and drove in a number of rallysprints in 2012, with a best finish of thirteenth, at Achna Speedway. Part-way through the 2013 season, she changed cars, and started rallying a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI instead. Using this car, she was 18th in the OFA Rallysprint in 2014. In 2015, she went back to an Impreza, an STi N12 model this time. Her best finish was fifteenth, in the Palm Trees Rally. She rallied the Impreza in 2016, but was excluded from two rallies for receiving outside help, and then did not start the Palm Trees Rally, or finish the Cyprus Rally. In 2017, she drove a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI. This time, she finished the Cyprus Rally, in 43rd place. She drives for a family team. 

(Image copyright Ryan Lue-Clarke)

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