Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Female Single-Seater Drivers Around the World: the Americas

Drivers who have competed in the US oval racing feeder series, if they are not on this page, are likely to be found here. Maria Cristina Rosito, Samin Gomez, Roxie Lott and Ianina Zanazzi now have their own profiles. Argentine drivers now have their own post, as do Canadian drivers.

Maria Francisca Aceitón – Chilean driver who did one season of her national Formula 3 championship, in 2001. She was recruited by a team looking specifically for a female driver, and jumped straight from karting to full-scale single-seater racing, at the age of 22. She was tenth overall. After her single F3 season, she returned to karting, winning a 125cc championship in 2013. She is from a motorsport family; her father was a racing driver too.

Lindsey Adams – raced between 2006 and 2009, starting in regional championships, following five years of successful karting in multiple classes. In 2006, when she was 19, she was second in the Southwest Formula Mazda championship, with two wins. In 2007, she moved into Formula BMW, entering six races in the US championship. Her best result was thirteenth, achieved twice at Miller Raceway. She was 18th in the championship. She also raced in Formula Mazda again, for more experience, as part of the Skip Barber championship. After that, she stepped away from single-seaters, racing Legends and Late Model stock cars. She won at least one Legends race in 2008. After deferring her college place to race professionally, she started a business career in 2009. During her time on the circuits, she was a spokesperson for breast cancer charities.

Sabré Cook - made her single-seater debut in the first race of the 2017 USF2000 championship at St Petersburg. She was 15th and 17th in her two races. Pre-season, she missed out on a scholarship race seat in USF2000 with the Mazda Road to Indy programme. She was selected on the basis of her karting results. These include three outright championships. Sabré’s first experience in a car was a run in a Spec Racer Ford in the 2017 SCCA National Runoffs.

Claudia Fuentes – Chilean driver most famous for her exploits in Formula 3. Her first race was in 2005, when she was 17, making her the Chilean championship’s youngest ever driver. She had a second season in Chilean F3 in 2006, and is described as being quite successful, despite actual results proving hard to find. She may also have raced touring cars, although again, details are sketchy. She began a rally career in 2012, driving a Honda. 

Juliana Gonzalez - Colombian-born driver living in Mexico. She started racing very young, at fifteen, in Mexico, winning one race in Formula Renault and scoring four further podiums. She then moved to the USA, contesting the 2006 and 2007 Formula Ford 2000 championship. She was tenth overall in 2006. Her best 2007 finish was second, at Road Atlanta, and she was usually in the top ten after her first few races. She did not compete for the whole 2007 season, but also took part in some Panam Formula Renault races. In 2008, she moved up to the Star Mazda series, but only managed to start one race, at Sebring. Her final position was fifteenth. She does not appear to have raced since then.

Jenna Grillo - raced in SCCA Formula Atlantic in 2017. She was thirteenth in the championship with one third place at Virginia as her best result. She won her class and it was only her first race weekend in the car. Just before then, she was second in the SCCA Spring Sprints at the same circuit. Alongside her single-seater racing, she also drove a Ginetta sportscar in some FARA endurance events. 2016 was her first racing season in cars, and she took part in some rounds of the F2000 series. She was eleventh in the championship. Jenna suffers with fibromyalgia.

Nancy James - veteran club and national racer, active since 1973. Her first car was a Lotus 67 Formula Ford. In the 1990s, she and her husband built their own single-seater cars, in which Nancy set several speed records at different tracks. In 2007, she was still competing in Formula Ford, and in 2001, she raced a Radical at Spa.

Shantal Kazazian – winner of the Chilean Formula 4 championship in 1991. This was a dominant performance, and she claimed her title two races before the end of the season. She was only 18 years old. In 1992, she moved into Formula 3, and became the first female points scorer in Chilean F3, with a fifth place in the first round. She was racing for a team sponsored by Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, along with her brother, Shahan. She did not continue in single-seaters after 1992, although she did participate in some ladies-only races in Argentina, later in the 1990s. After her motorsport career ended, she was a successful jetski racer, before working as an artist.

Kristy Kester - American driver last seen competing in Formula Star Mazda. She began her career in SCCA single-seater events in 2007, and was fourth in a divisional championship. With her own team, she moved up to Star Mazda in 2008. Her best finish was fourth, at Portland, and she visited the top ten on three more occasions, giving her ninth overall. In 2009, she did not fare as well, despite scoring some official support from 3G. Her best finish was only tenth, at Iowa, and she only took part in seven rounds, finishing 22nd. Since then, she has not been able to compete due to lack of sponsorship. She is now a medical student and MMA fighter.

Sabrina Kuronuma - competes in single-seaters and endurance events. She did some races in the Gaúcho Formula 1.6 championship in 2011 and 2012. She was set to move to the USA to drive in the Indycar feeder series, and had a team and finances in place, but health problems meant that this was not possible. In 2011, she was part of an all-female team that raced in the Tarumã 12-Hour event, with Isadora Diehl and Patricia de Souza. They were eleventh overall, in a Volkswagen Golf. She attempted to get to America to race in Formula Atlantic, in 2014, but does not seem to have made it.

Julia Landauer – raced single-seaters in the States, before switching to Late Model stock cars in 2009. She came through the Skip Barber system at a young age, finishing sixth in the Southern Regional Series at sixteen years old, in 2007. She won her first Skip Barber championship two years earlier. After a short part-season in the Skip Barber National Series, she graduated to Formula BMW in 2009. Despite three non-finishes in the first three races of the season, she improved, and by the end, at Mosport, she achieved her best finish of fifth, one of three top tens in the second half of the season. She was sixteenth overall. After a break, during which she attended university, she started racing Late Models at her local circuit, Motor Mile in Virginia. In 2015, she was one of the leading drivers in her region, with four wins. This led to a ride in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, driving a Toyota. She was fourth in the championship, with a second and third place at the end of the season. In 2017, she made a couple of K&B Series East appearances, driving for Troy Cline's team, but most of her year was spent in its West counterpart, with Bob Bruncati Racing. She was seventh in the championship, with a best finish of fifth at Douglas County Speedway.

Samira Rached – Mexican driver who competes in Formula 1800 and the Super Copa Telcel. She began racing in Formula Vee in 2012, and moved into Formula 1800 in 2014. That year, she was eleventh in the championship, with two top-ten finishes, an eighth place at Puebla and a tenth at Pachuca. At the time of writing, she has managed three top tens in the 2015 series. In 2014 and 2015, she has also been part of the Super Copa Telcel, organised by a TV channel, and was one of its leading drivers in 2015. Another season in the Formula V series was not as successful; in 2016, she did five races, with a best finish of ninth, at Zacatecas. 2017 was a struggle for opportunities, but she managed two races in Formula 1800. She was sixth at Guadalajara and eleventh at Mexico City. She races for a family team, run by her father, Raul.  

Kay Rathmann - raced in Formula Vee in the late 1960s. In 1969, she was part of the ladies’ contingent in a big Daytona race for Formula Vee, alongside Jenny Nadin and Hannelore Werner. She was classified 33rd, the first of the female drivers, despite not being as experienced as the other two. She seems to have been part of Volkswagen’s “Coupe de Charme” for women drivers in Formula Vee. Also in 1969, she drove in another Formula Vee race, at Daytona, alongside several Mercury and Apollo astronauts, including Gordon Cooper and Pete Conrad. She had done some Formula Vee racing with Conrad at the same track in 1968. By 1972, she was still competing, and entered another  big Formula Vee event at Daytona, the Brundage Trophy. She did not finish. Kay was married to Jim Rathmann, who sometimes entered her in his cars.

Monserrat de la Rosa – Mexican driver who races in the Telcel Super Copa in her home country. She started racing single-seaters in 2011, in the Mexican Formula Vee championship. After doing some touring car racing in her national championship in 2012, she took part in Formula V-1800 in 2013. For some of the season, she tested a FF2000 car in the USA, with the hope of a race seat in 2014, but this did not transpire. She did compete in the smaller “Pony” class of the Super Copa, but not in the main draw. She was seventh at Tangamanga. In 2015, she returned to V-1800, for at least one race. She also took part in a celebrity race at San Luis, which she won. At the same meeting, she was fifteenth in a V-1800 race. Early in the season, she was linked with a drive in a GT3 car, but this only seems to have been some testing. Throughout her career, she has struggled for sponsorship, and has only raced a few times each season. In 2016, she switched to dirt track racing ("Car Cross"), and was third in her novice class. She launched her own dirt track team in 2017.

Glenna Sacks - raced in Formula Vee in America in the 1970s. Her career began in 1972, and she initially raced a Datsun that used to belong to her husband. The next year, she moved into single-seaters, mostly Formula Vee. She was doing well in SCCA events until a serious accident wrote off her car and left her with shoulder and neck injuries. She bounced back, without the wrecked Vee, and later raced a Formula Ford and an Austin-Healey Sprite.

Sara Sanchez - former karter who has raced single-seaters in Uruguay. She appears to have competed in a junior series called Super Formula 2000 in 2008, which may have been a Formula Renault series, although details are sketchy. Her best finish was fourth. In 2009, she entered Formula Chevrolet in Brazil, but only drove in one race, at El Pinar. She was seventh. The championship was cancelled shortly after, due to lack of entries. The same happened in 2010, leaving Sara with one unclassified finish to her name. Sara is Brazilian.

Kerstin Smutny - mostly races open-wheel cars in the USA. She began her senior career at 16, in 2006, in the Formula TR Pro Series for Formula Renault cars. She was eighth in her first season and seventh in her second, in 2007. In 2008, she dropped back down to racing Midget cars, and was fourth in the Washington state championship. A detour into saloons then followed; she drove in the VW Jetta TDI Cup, and was 21st overall. After that, she took a break from motorsport, partly enforced by a lack of sponsorship, and returned in 2012, back in single-seaters. She entered some rounds of the Formula Car Challenge Championship, in a FormulaSPEED Mazda. She was third and second at Infineon Raceway, and was third in the championship. She did not race in 2013 or 2014, but was active in karting in 2015. Her racing plans were put on hold during 2016, due to pregnancy. 

Nicole Solano – Costa Rican driver who raced in Formula Renault (Formula 2000) in the Americas in 2010. She was third in one race at La Guácima, in Costa Rica, and seventh in three others, but the rest of her results, and her championship position, are not forthcoming. She was only fifteen years old in 2010. Her brother, André Solano, also raced in the championship, and was the eventual winner. Nicole does not appear to have raced since then.

Ginni Swanton – raced in Star Formula Mazda between 1995 and 2004. For quite a lot of this, she was part of the Pro section. In the National-level competition, her best season was 2003, when she was 19th overall. Her best race finish was fourteenth, at Nazareth. In 2004, she did eight races with Bucknum Racing, and was 29th. Previously, in 2000, she raced in the Formula Mazda Western Division. In 2001, she raced in both series, and ran quite well in the Western Division, with at least two top-ten finishes, at Phoenix. As well as dedicated Star Mazda races, Ginni also competed in SCCA races, in her Star Mazda car.

Bruna Tomaselli – Brazilian driver who raced in South American Formula 4 in 2015. She was sixth in the championship, with several fourth places as her best result. That year, she also made guest appearances in Sprint Race in Brazil, and FF2000 in the USA. Her Formula 4 debut year followed two seasons of competition in Brazilian Formula Junior, and several years of karting. Her first Formula Junior season also gave her a sixth place, after a podium finish and a pole position. She was seventeen at the time. In 2016, she continued her Formula 4 campaign. During the season, she scored five podium positions, and was fourth in the championship. She moved to the States in 2017 to race in the Cooper Tires FF2000 championship. Her best finish was twelfth at Road America and she was 21st in the championship.

Veronica Valverde – driver from Costa Rica who has competed most recently in Formula Panam GP. She began racing in 2010, in Formula 2000, aged sixteen. Her best results seem to have been two second places, at La Guácima, her home track. In 2012, she raced in the Formula Abarth class of Panam GP, for Team Costa Rica, and was ninth overall, with a best finish of fourth, at Ibarra. In 2013, she competed in Formula Panam GP, and had her best result at the start of the season: fifth at Monterrey. She was eleventh in the championship. Between then and 2016, she did not do much senior-level racing, although she was active in karting. In 2016, she contested the Costa Rican Touring Car Championship, for the GreatWall team. She was eleventh overall.

Mianna Wick - most famous for her historic racing in a 1996 Lola Indycar, which she first drove in 2015, after testing a later Indycar a year earlier. Her Indycar activities have mainly been shows, although she also appears to have done some hillclimbs. She started racing cars in 2013, after several years of karting, including Superkarts. Her first car was a Formula Ford 1600, in which she won a Flying Miata Tim Trial in 2013. She acquired a Formula Mazda for the 2014 season, and won two races at the SCCA Labor Daze meeting. In 2015, she was first and second in the Formula Mazda at the SCCA Freedom Sprint. 2016 mostly saw her concentrating on raising sponsorship for running the Indycar, as well as some driving in the car.

(Image from


  1. You've forgot Bia Figueiredo, who runs in Indy.

  2. She's on the "Open Wheel Racing in the US" post, with the other Indy drivers.