Thursday, 9 September 2010

Female Single-Seater Drivers Around the World: the Rest of Europe



Malgosia Rdest with a VW Scirocco-R

Ljuba Andreeva - Kazakh driver racing in Russia. She took part in Formula Russia in 2014, and was one of the youngest drivers, at 18. She was no among the front-runners, and seems to have usually finished in around tenth place. She did better in the Tatarstan Formula 3 championship rounds, securing one fourth place, and a series of fifths. A second season in Formula Russia, now Formula Masters, saw a more consistent Ljuba. She had two third places at Sochi, and was fourth in the championship. In 2016, she raced a prototype in the Russian Endurance Championship, as part of a four-driver team. She was excluded from the Moscow 4-Hour race for taking an illegal shortcut. Language barriers prevent in-depth research about Ljuba.

Ksenia Bystrova – raced in Formula Masters in Russia, in 2015. Her best finishes were two second places, both achieved at Sochi, and she was also third at Kazan. This appears to be her first season of senior-level motorsport, although she has been active in karting, and continued to race karts in 2015. Although she is a Russian national, and competes in Russia, she lives in the USA. In 2016, she seems to have done some karting. She works in the motorsport industry.

Melissa Calvi – Luxembourgish driver who races a Formula Renault in the VdeV Monoplace Challenge. Her first season in VdeV was 2015, and she had a best finish of eighth, at Magny-Cours, after a part-season. In 2016, she has repeated that achievement twice, at Catalunya, out of the six races she did. Previously, she competed in junior karting, up to 2013. She was twice Belgian girls’ champion, and once Luxembourg champion.

Judit Forro (Hunter) - Hungarian-born. She raced in Formula Renault in the UK in 1998, and the MGF Cup in 1999, after a successful kart career in Hungary and Europe. She was married to Jamie Hunter who died while competing in the MGF Cup, and appeared to stop competing after his death. She is now a sky-diving instructor.

Gabriela Jilkova - Czech driver who began racing in 2012, after a several years of karting, with some success. In 2012, she jumped straight from karting to Formula Renault, taking part in three rounds of the Northern European zone championship, at Most. Unfortunately, she did not finish any of them. In 2013, she combined karting with some sportscar racing, in the Netherlands. She was third in two races in the Superlight section of the Supercar Challenge, at Assen, driving a Czech-built Praga-Renault. In 2014, she competed in a Formula Renault once more, in Eastern Europe, as part of the Formula Car championship. Her best solo result was ninth, at the Hungaroring. In a two-driver race at the same track, she was fifth, with Robert Haub. She did not do much actual racing in 2015, although she did take part in some drifting. She completed the driver evaluation course for the Audi TT Cup at the start of 2016, but did not race the TT, going with a Renault Clio instead. She did some rounds at least of the Central European Zone D4-2000 series, enough for third in the championship, and made some appearances in the Central European Clio Cup, scoring an eleventh and a sixth at the Red Bull Ring. 

Natalia Kowalska - Polish driver who raced in the revived Formula Two championship in 2010, after sitting out the 2009 season due to lack of funds. Her best finishes were a ninth and tenth at Algarve, and she was 19th overall. Prior to this, in 2008, she did a part-season in Formula Star Mazda in the USA, managing one tenth place at Mosport out of four finishes. In 2007, her first year of circuit racing, she had a part-season in Northern European Formula Renault, with two races in the Eurocup. She managed to score a few points in the former. In 2011, she drove in Formula Two again, but only took part in four races, due to injuries sustained in the previous season. In 2012, she sat out the season due to injuries from a road traffic accident. She was involved in karting in 2016.

Branislava Lapínová - Slovakian driver competing mostly in Eastern Europe in 2014. She raced in the Eset championship, in the Formula Car class. Her car was a Formula Gloria. Her best result was 21st, at the Hungaroring. She began her senior career in 2012, after some success in karting. She was driving the Formula Gloria in a Czech championship. Although she did not race in 2013, she did test a Formula Renault.

Shirley van der Lof - Dutch driver, granddaughter of Dries van der Lof. In 2008, she was one of the front-runners in the Trophy class of German F3, having won the Nürburgring round. She was fourth overall at the end of the season, with two more wins at Lausitz and Oschersleben, and a string of podium places. Previously, she drove in Benelux Formula Ford for two years, gaining a reputation as a fast but accident-prone competitor. As a junior, she ran well in the Dutch karting championships. She drove well at the 2006 UK Formula Ford Festival, winning one of her races and gaining some attention from the press. She continued in German F3 in 2009, driving for the Zettler team. This time, she was running in the Cup class, and did not score as highly, finishing 20th overall. Her best finish was eighth, at Oschersleben. After not racing at all in 2010, she switched to sportscars in 2011, driving a Ferrari F430 and 430 GT2, and a Radical. She used the F430 in one round of the Belcar series, at Zolder, but did not finish. The Radical was for the Bridgestone Special Open Trophy race at Assen, and she was fourth, with a fastest lap. She drove the GT2 in a round of the Dutch Supercar Challenge. In 2012, she was not as active, and seems to have concentrated on historic racing in an AC Cobra. After a year on the sidelines, she reappeared in 2014, as part of the Racingdivas team for the Dubai 24 Hours. She won her class, and was 31st overall, in a BMW 320d. The team did not have the funds for any more races in 2014.

Alexandra Marinescu – Romanian driver who competes internationally. After several years of karting, she had her first senior experience in 2014, at the age of fourteen, in the Skip Barber Racing Series in the USA. She was 16th in the championship. In 2015, she moved to the UK, to race in the MSA Formula, a Formula 4 championship. Although she registered for the series, she does not appear to have raced. She did compete in British F4 in 2016, for six rounds. She almost made it into the top ten at Snetterton, with a twelfth place. She was 22nd overall. 

Julia Pankiewicz – Polish driver competing in Italy, in Formula 4. She graduated from karting at the start of the 2015 season, at the age of fifteen. In a first for the series, she raced for the Swiss RB Racing team with her twin sister, Wiktoria. Twin female drivers have never before raced in such a championship. She has a best finish of fourteenth, achieved twice, at Misano. Her final championship position was 33rd. In 2016, she did some races in the Formula Renault Eurocup, as well as Formula Renault NEC. Her best result in the Eurocup was nineteenth, at Aragon Motorland. She did slightly better in the NEC series, with a thirteenth at Hockenheim and 27th overall. 

Wiktoria Pankiewicz – Polish driver who races in Formula 4 in Italy. 2015 is her first season of senior motorsport; she is one of the younger drivers on the grid, at fifteen years old. Her best result has been fifteenth, at Imola. Although her finishing record is good, she was not strong enough to be among the front-runners, and she did not race for the full season. She competed alongside her twin sister, Julia, and finished one above her in the championship, in 32nd place. She did not race in 2016. 

Valerie Theuwissen – Belgian driver who raced in Belgian Formula Renault in 2007. She was driving for a family team, Theuwissen Racing, in the Renault Stars Challenge. Her final finishing position was twelfth, after twelve races. The following year, she raced in Formula 16, another Formula Renault series. Although she did not compete for the whole season, she was second overall, after two wins and two second places. She does not appear to have raced since then.

Fabienne Wohlwend – raced in Italian Formula 4 in 2016. She did almost a complete season for Aragon Racing. Her best finishes were two seventeenth places, at Adria and Vallelunga, and she was unplaced in the championship. This was her first season of senior motorsport, after eight years of karting. She has won two junior karting titles in her native Liechtenstein.

Lucia Zivec – Slovenian driver who raced in Formula 3 in Europe in the 1990s. In 1999, she made appearances in the Austrian and Czech series, driving a 1993-spec Dallara, driving for Wolfgang Krebitz Racing. Her best finish seems to have been a twelfth place, at the Ceska Open, held at Most. Mid-way through the season, her team stopped entering races. She does not appear to have competed since. Now, someone of the same name works in the aerospace industry. 

(Image from http://www.motofakty.pl/)

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