Thursday, 14 October 2010

Female Single-Seater Drivers Around the World: Africa

Tasmin Pepper

The African continent has produced a few female drivers, the most famous being Desiré Wilson. This page will hopefully expand in future. Drivers in other types of racing in Africa can be found here

Vicki Kemp - raced in South African Supercars in 2010, aged 18, with a view to moving into NASCAR. She was selected for 2010 NASCAR Driver Talent Search and Shootout, but did not get through. Her finishing record in Supercars was not good, but she did manage eighth and ninth places. After that, she switched to single-seaters, and competed in Formula VW in 2011. Her car was more reliable, and she  had a best finish of sixth, at Killarney. She was tenth in the championship. During her second Formula VW season, her performances were similar, and she was eleventh overall. After that, she does not seem to have raced. As a junior, she was the first girl to win a South African karting championship in 2007.

Jennifer Murray - South African driver who was part of their A1 GP team, driving in one test session in 2006. She was taken on following her performances in Formula Ford, in South Africa and at the 2004 Formula Ford Festival in the UK. In 2006, she was a consistent top-ten performer in the South African series, and was fourth overall. Between 2007 and 2009, she mostly competed in the Shelby Can-Am sportscar series in South Africa, in a 3300cc Dodge. Her best season was 2008, during which she won two races, visited the podium ten times and was the overall runner-up. She has also competed in Formula Volkswagen, and in the all-female Formula Woman Nations Cup. 

Tasmin Pepper - well-travelled young driver from South Africa. She began racing in the South African Formula Ford Championship at sixteen. In her first full season, in 2007, she was fourth, and claimed her first podium finishes. In 2008, she combined the South African Formula Volkswagen series and Formula BMW Pacific, racing all over Asia as well as her homeland. Her best finishes in both championships were fourth places. She was seventh in Formula Volkswagen and thirteenth in Formula BMW. The following year, she stuck to Formula VW, and was rewarded with her first win, at Kyalami. Another three podiums at Kyalami and Killarney confirmed her fourth place. In 2010, she continued where she left off, finishing second in the championship, with another win at East London, and ten podium places. When she finished, she was never out of the top ten, and almost always in the top five. In 2011, she challenged again. Sadly, she did not win this time, although she was rarely out of the top five. She was fourth overall. In 2012, she switched to saloon car racing in the Wesbank Super Series, driving a VW Golf. She also returned to karting, including some visits to Europe, in the X30 series, after winning the South African edition in 2011. Her win was repeated in 2012. In 2013, she added more wins to her tally: a round of the VW Cup at Phakisa. Later that year, she was selected for the FIA VW Scirocco R-Cup ladies' evaluation tests, but did not win the following Shootout. She returned to the VW Cup in 2014, driving a Polo. She was fourth overall. In 2017, she returned to the VW Polo Cup in South Africa. She did a second season in the Polo in 2018, winning at least one race.

Brittany Vorster - Formula Three driver from South Africa. She competed in Formula 3 in South Africa in 2010, as well as travelling to Brazil for the Brazil Open. She did not qualify. Her South African results are not forthcoming. Prior to this, she raced in Formula GTi in South Africa, and was fifth in the 2009 championship after three podium finishes. A serious accident at the end of the 2010 season meant that she decided to retire. Before that, she was active on the karting scene, both nationally and internationally. Away from the track, she is a model and TV personality. 

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