Monday, 6 September 2010

Women in Rallycross

Silva Winterhoff

Rallycross, at all levels, manages to attract a healthy number of female drivers. This seems to be especially true in France, where women compete, some successfully, in all of the classes. There is a large overlap between rallycross drivers and ice racers, so if the driver you are looking for is not on this page, try looking under Andros Trophy. UK drivers can now be found here, and French drivers here.

My Adolfsson - rallycross driver from Sweden. She raced in the Swedish junior championship in 2014, in a Vauxhall Corsa. Her first race came when she was still only 16. Due to car problems, she did not complete all the rounds. She was fifteenth overall in the NGK Masters, after finishing second in one of her qualifying races, then suffering more car trouble. Previously, she competed in Folkrace, from the age of fourteen, and she still races on occasion, in the Women’s class. Her 2015 season in the Swedish rallycross championship was badly affected by a leg injury to My, who sat out part of the year following surgery. At the end of the year, she returned for the season finale, driving her Corsa. She is or was part of Ramona Karlsson’s Young Female Drivers mentoring project. In 2017, she took part in Folkrace events. 

Magda Andersson – Swedish rallycross driver who competes in the European championships. She began her rallycross career in 2012, at the age of fourteen, when she was second in the JRX (Junior Rallycross) Cup. After a couple of seasons in JRX and in the Swedish championship, she started racing in the Touring Car class of the ERC in 2015. Her car was a Ford Fiesta. She made her first final in the second round of the championship, at Lydden Hill, finishing fifth. She was then second at Estering in Germany, and third in her home race of Höljesbanan, which gave her fourth in the championship. She returned to the Touring Car championship for 2016 and won the first round. She was second in the category overall. In 2017, she changed car and team, to a Marklund Motorsport-run VW Polo. She entered the Supercar class for the first time, but found it hard going. Her best result was a sixth place in France and she was 16th in the championship.  

Camilla Antonsen - winner of the North European Zone 4WD Championship in 2010. Her car was a Ford Fiesta ST. She has been competing on and off in the Norwegian championship since 1998, after some time spent in autocross and rallying. Between 2002 and 2004, she also made various starts in the Norwegian Touring Car championship, driving a Vauxhall Vectra. Her best results were two podiums in 2003, leading to a seventh place in the series. In 2011, she was second in the NEZ 4WD championship, as well as taking part in the Scandinavian rounds of the European Championship and the top-level Norwegian series. In 2012, she won the Supercar division of the Norwegian championship, in the Fiesta. She was also seventh in the NEZ 4WD championship, after winning the Norwegian round. She switched to rallying in 2013, in a BMW M3 and Renault Twingo. Rallycross was not forgotten in 2014. She raced a Ford Fiesta in the European championship, in the Touring Car class, for part of the year. She won one round, in Germany. In rallying, she competed in two Norwegian events, coming 19th in the Numedals Rally, in a BMW M3. 2015 saw her back in the European rallycross championship, in the Fiesta. She was eleventh in the championship. In rallying, she did two Norwegian events in the BMW. In 2016, she did a couple of rallies in the BMW, and at least one rallycross meeting, but a lot of her cars seem to have been sold. She rallied the BMW and a Subaru Impreza in 2017, performing best in rallysprints. Her best finish was eleventh in the Gardermosprinten.

Mandie August - first competed in rallycross in 2007. After a few races, she graduated to the German championship in 2008, and also made her European Rallycross debut. Driving a Volkswagen Polo, she was 43rd in Division 1A, after finishing thirteenth in Austria, which was considered an impressive result for a beginner. She was 33rd in 2009 after two points finishes, in Portugal and Poland. Both seasons, she also entered the national series in her native Germany. In 2009, she qualified for the final in all six rounds, and had a best finish of second, at Grundau. She was third overall in her class, an improvement on tenth in 2008. In 2010, she returned with the Polo, and was 27th in class 1A. Her best finish was ninth, which she achieved at Lydden Hill and Nyirad. She drove a Skoda Fabia in 2011, and struggled for pace somewhat in the Super 1600 European championship. She did better in the German series, with second places at Ewald-Pauli-Ring and Duivelsbergcircuit. She was third overall. In 2012, she appears to have driven the Fabia at least once, but her results cannot be found. She used the same car in 2013, and was 16th in the European Super 1600 championship, after completing most of the season. In 2014, she drove the Fabia in the Swedish, German and Italian rounds of the European championship, in the Super 1600 class. 2015 looked quite similar, although she did the full S1600 championship in the Fabia this year. In 2016, she acquired an Audi S3 Supercar, and in it, won the European Rallycross Challenge's Supercar title. She switched between this car and a SEAT Ibiza in 2017, but did not make much of an impression in either. This time, she was racing in the European Supercar Championship. 

Susann Bergvall - Swedish rallycross driver who competed in the 1400cc class of the European Championship in the 1990s. She won the title in 1994, driving a Citroen AX Sport. In 1995, she was fifth, driving two different AX models. After that, she seems to fade from the racing scene, although she is known to have married Kenneth Hansen.

Collete Davis – American driver racing in the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship in 2015. She raced in the Lites class, driving the Lites Ford Fiesta for River Racing, supported by Bryan Herta Rallysport. Her best final result was a sixth place, at Detroit. She consistently reached finals. Previously, in 2012, she tried single-seaters, in the USFF2000 series. She was competing in the National class. Between then and 2015, she raced in SCCA events, and was part of the Mazda Road to Indy programme. In 2016, she used a Hyundai Veloster in the Lites class, and was eleventh overall, with a best finish of fifth. In the future, she hopes to move up to the Supercar class. In 2017, she concentrated on TV work, and even raced Monster Trucks.

Tanja Fischer - Austrian driver who began in the Supernational class of her home championship, in 2011. Her car was a Renault Megane and her best result was eighth. She was 38th overall. In 2012, she changed her car to a Vokswagen Polo, in common with many other drivers in her class. She raced in the National 1600 class, again, with a best finish of eighth. She was tenth overall. Her results for 2013 are not forthcoming, but it looks as if she did the Austrian round of the European championship, in the National 1600 class, in the Polo. 

Romina Fritz - Austrian driver who competes in the National 1600 class. She began as a junior driver, in 2011, although there was no junior class for her to race in, so she drove her Volkswagen Polo in the Super National class. Her best finish was tenth, and she was 47th overall. In 2012, a junior class was introduced, and she was fifth. In 2013, she continued with the Polo, in the European Rallycross Challenge, although her results are proving hard to find. She continued to use the Polo for slalom events in 2014, very successfully, but switched to a Honda Civic for some rallycross rounds. Her main focus was slaloms. She is the daughter of long-time racer, Walter Fritz, and he took over her Polo in 2014. She raced the Civic in some Austrian championship rounds in 2015, and was the runner-up in the OSK championship in 2016. 

Malin Gjerstad - began her career in Norwegian autocross in 2009, winning three of her events, plus the Ladies’ and Junior title. Driving a SAAB 900, she continued in 2010, venturing over the border into Sweden for their junior rallycross championship, in which she was fifteenth overall. She also continued with autocross, alongside her father Morten. After sitting out most of 2011 due to pregnancy, she returned in 2012, driving an Opel Corsa. Her one points finish in the Norwegian Class 1 championship was a fourth place, at Gardermoen Motorpark. She was twelfth in the 2013 championship, with one third place. She was driving the Corsa. She drove the same car in the 2014 Norwegian championship. 

Tatjana Jelisejeva - Russian driver who normally uses a VAZ Lada Samarra. She has been very successful in the Fast 1600 category of the Northern European Zone rallycross championship since its beginning in 2005, never finishing below fifth when she entered. Her best finish was third, in 2011. As well as the NEZ series, she also competes in rallycross in the Baltic championship, and did so in 2012. After 2012, she concentrated more on racing touring cars in Russia, on the circuits and on ice. She has competed on and off in the Russian championship for several years. In 2014, she drove a VW Polo in Russian Touring Cars, and a VAZ in the Russian ice championship. The year before, she concentrated on ice racing, in the VAZ. In 2015, she raced a Lada Kalina in the Russian ice-racing championship, with a best finish of third at Sannikovo. She also took part in rally raids in a Kamaz truck. In 2016, she entered the ice-racing championship again, but did not qualify for the first round. Language barriers have prevented detailed research about Tatjana.

Michaela Kalna - Czech driver who has competed in the European Rallycross Championship since 2006 in a Peugeot 206 and she drives in Division 1A. Her best championship result was 15th in 2007. She was 24th in 2009 after four points finishes. Previously, she drove in the ERC in 2003, as well as the Czech championships in which she was seventh. Her car this time was a Peugeot 306. She also drove in national championships around Europe between then and 2006. She was third in the Austrian national series in 2005, in the 206. She raced in Austria again in 2009, as well as in the ERC, and came fourteenth in her class. For 2010, she was back in the ERC, driving a Peugeot 206 in class 1A of the Central European championship. She was sixth overall, with a best finish of third at Sosnova, her home track. In 2011, she drove the Peugeot in seven rounds of the ERC, but was not among the Super 1600 front-runners. A single outing in the Central European series gave her a third place. Again, in 2013, she made a single appearance in the Central European Super 1600 championship in the 206, finishing second. She was seventh in the Polish championship in 2014. Her activities after 2015 are unclear, but she was back in the European championship in 2016.

Birgit Kuttner - Austrian driver who has been racing in rallycross since 2011, after switching from autocross. Her first car was a Honda Civic. She was thirteenth in her first season in Austrian Supernationals, with a best finish of fourth, at Nordring. She stayed in Supernationals in 2012, in the same car, and improved her race results, with a third and a second at Nordring, at opposite ends of the season. However, the class was more competitive this year, and she was fourteenth overall. In 2013, she moved up to the Central Europe Zone championship, still in the Civic, in the Supernational class. This was a tougher year for her, and she did not make the top ten. She was 16th overall. She continued to race the Civic in the same class in 2014. In 2015, she won her state Supercar Under 2000cc title, in a Honda. Using the same car, she won the Austrian 1600cc Super Touring class in 2016. In 2017, she entered the CEZ Championship in the Super Touring class, and was fifth in the Civic with one second place. 

Tineke de Poorter - Dutch driver who raced in the Netherlands and Belgium, and in the ERC. She competed throughout the 1990s and early 2000s in the ERC, including the 1995-2002 seasons, which she spent in Division I, driving first a Lancia Delta Integrale, then a Fiat Coupe. Her best championship finish was 27th, in 1997, with the Lancia. Previously, she used the Lancia in Group N form in Dutch rallycross events. In 2003 and 2004, she continued to race the Fiat in Eastern Europe. She seems to have retired after this.

Lise Marie Sandmo - Norwegian driver who won the Norwegian Junior rallycross title in 2012, driving a Honda Civic, at the age of 18. She was the first female driver to do so. She was also fourth in the senior Northern European Zone 1600 rallycross championship, with a best finish of fifth. Her driving career began in 2010, in rallycross, and she was second in her first race. In 2011, she was fifth in the junior series, as well as competing in autocross at Junior level. 2013 saw her win a second Norwegian junior championship, as will as finishing seventh in the Northern Europe Super 1600 championship. Her car was the Civic. In 2014, she entered two rounds of the European Rallycross Championship, driving a VW Polo in the Super 1600 class. She scored one point. She drove the Polo in some rounds of the European S1600 championship again in 2015, but her season was marred by a pitlane accident involving her father. She did at least some NEZ championship races in 2016, but the results are proving elusive. 

Fanny Thrygg - Swedish driver who has been driving in rallycross across Europe since at least 2005. 2005 was her first season in the European Championship, and she was 33rd in Division 2, driving a Peugeot 306. She was 32nd the following year, after finishing ninth in France. She did not do as well in 2007 and was only 35th. A string of final finishes pushed her up to 19th in 2008, still in the ageing 306. She was thirteenth in 2009, after three points finishes. As well as the European championship, Fanny also races in Sweden and makes appearances in other European events, although she does not seem to have competed since 2009. 

Silva Winterhoff - young German driver competing in rallycross in Germany. In her first year of competition, 2010, she was fifth in the German Rallycross Cup, with a best finish of third, despite only being 16. Her car was a Suzuki Swift. The following year, she changed to a Peugeot 106 XSI, and was third in the senior Rallycross Cup, and second in the junior category. This year, she scored her first senior win, at Duivelsbergcircuit in Belgium. In 2012, she drove an aged Volvo PV in the senior National Championship, and was second overall. Although she did not manage another win, she achieved a second and a third against experienced competition. She moved into senior competition in 2013, entering the Supernationals class of the German championship, in a Volvo PV. She won two races, and performed strongly in her others. In the same car, she was second overall in the Supernational class in 2014. She upgraded her car to a rotary-engined Mazda RX-7 for 2015, and was second in the Supernational championship once more. She went back to the Volvo for 2016, and appears to have won at least one trophy. She only did one event in 2017. 

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