Monday, 15 April 2013

Female Drivers Racing in Africa

Sandra Bocandé

This page profiles some female racers active sportscar and saloon racing in Africa. Mostly, they are Europeans who travel over to compete, but hopefully, more local African drivers will appear.

For African single-seater drivers, go here.

Ingrid Aupaix - Belgian driver who raced in Africa in 2011-2012. She was taking part in the Senegal Endurance Championship, in which she finished fourth, with her countrywoman Gaëtane Bachy. They drove for the Penelope and Divoy teams, using a Honda Civic and a VW Polo. They performed very well in the under-1300cc class. Before the Senegal endurance series, Ingrid was Belgium’s most successful female slalom driver, usually driving a Mini run by her family team. She seems to have returned to slalom and speed events in 2013 and 2014. 

Gaëtane Bachy - well-travelled Belgian racer. In 2011 and 2012, she raced in the Senegal Endurance Championships, beginning with the Dakar 12-Hour race in a Renault Clio. In 2012, she teamed up with Ingrid Aupaix in Africa, first in a VW Polo, then a Honda Civic. Their best finish was seventh, second in class, at the Dakar circuit. In Belgium, Gaëtane has also entered two 24-hour races for Citroen 2CVs at Spa, finishing once. In 2011, she drove in several slalom events, and one round of the Belgian “Gentlemen” Drivers’ Cup, in a Civic. Her team is normally Penelope Racing, and she sometimes uses the nom de course of “Penelope”. She is still actively involved in motorsport in Belgium, on the administrative side.

Samira el-Bennani – Moroccan driver who became the first African ladies’ circuit racing champion, and the first ladies’ champion of Morocco, in 1998. Her car was a Renault 5, and it was her first season of racing. The following year, she travelled to Spain, and competed there in the Renault Megane Supercopa. In 2008, she seems to have been active again, in a Renault Clio, taking part in a raced at Casablanca. In 2009, she raced in the Casablanca Grand Prix, in the 2000cc class, alongside her son, Mehdi Bennani. That year, she also drove a Legend car in the WTCC support race, and a Renault Clio in the Moroccan circuit championship, in which she was eleventh.  After that, she continued to compete, often in a Renault Clio. She was in action in 2014 in the Moroccan championship. As well as circuit racing, she has also competed in the Dakar Rally, in 2005, in a Mercedes. Her son, Mehdi el-Bennani, races touring cars internationally. 

Sandra Bocandé - Senegalese driver, active since 2010, after getting into motorsport through her photo agency work. After learning to drive in France, she competed in the Endurance and 2L Sprint championships in Senegal, in a Renault Clio run by 25 Racing. She won the second round of the Sprint championship, and was 20th overall in the Endurance series, after entering three races. In 2012, she drove a Nissan buggy in the Africa Eco Race with Pierrick Legendre, as a navigator. She was the first Senegalese finisher, and they were 30th overall. She was racing again in 2014, and was sixth in the Dakar 6 Hour race, with Laïla Chekir. They were driving a Renault Clio. In January, Sandra also won a ladies' race, the Ronde des Lionnes, at the Dakar circuit. Sandra is a former dancer.
Fabienne Lanz - Swiss/South African driver, based in South Africa. Her motorsport achievements have mainly come from karting, where she has earned good championship positions in various formulae, in South Africa, the Middle East and Europe. She has raced cars occasionally since 2011, when she drove a VW Golf in the South Africa Coastal Championship, winning her class. Since 2012, she has competed in two saloon endurance races in the Golf. She retired from the LUK 3 Hours at Port Elizabeth, but was fourth in class, with the Stephen2Racing team, in the Africa 6 Hours at Phakisa, in February 2013. She has also driven in hillclimbs in South Africa, and raced in Legends cars.  

Joy Monareng – one of South Africa’s first black female racers. She started in 2002, in the Sports 2000 series. Her first race was at Zwartkops, after winning a place on a racing development programme. She raced in Sports 2000 for at least three seasons. In 2003, she finished in the top ten of the championship. As well as Sports 2000, she has raced motorcycles, and competed in some rallies in the Gauteng province. She is a TV motoring journalist. 

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