Thursday, 16 January 2014

Racing Mothers

Stirling Moss with his parents, Aileen and Alfred.
There are many examples of fathers and sons racing: Gilles and Jacques Villeneuve, or Graham and Damon Hill spring to mind. However, there are also mothers who passed their love of speed onto their sons and daughters. Here are some of them.

Melanie Snow - became the first mother to race alongside her own son in major sportscar races in the US. She and her son Madison, who was only sixteen at the time, both won their respective classes in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge in May 2012. They were in two different Porsche 911s. In 2013, they joined forces for the Daytona 24 Hours. Alongside Sascha Maassen, Marko Seefried and Klaus Bachler, they were 19th overall, 11th in class. Their car was a Porsche 887 GT3 Cup. Melanie’s son Mckay, Madison’s brother, is a karter and member of the family team.

Lieve Thiron - more than ten years earlier than Melanie Snow, Lieve drove a Porsche 996 GT3 in the 2001 Zolder 24 Hours with her son, Mathieu Geerinckx. Her husband, Mathieu’s father Dirk Geerinckx, was also part of the team. They were thirteenth. Lieve and Mathieu competed together occasionally until 2003, when she retired. Their best result together was tenth, in the 2002 Zolder 24 Hours.

Micki Chittenden - Micki is a member of the Vandervell family, who raced saloons in the 1970s, often in BWRDC-associated events. Her daughters are Tiffany Chittenden and Tamsin Germain, who are both karters. Tiffany is the more successful of the two, and has also done some single-seater racing in the UK and New Zealand.

Aileen Moss - drove a Marendaz, mostly in rallies and trials, in the 1930s. She was married to Alfred Moss, who drove in the 1924 Indianapolis 500. Her children are more famous: Formula One driver Sir Stirling Moss, one of the most successful drivers never to be world champion, and Pat Moss-Carlsson, multiple rally winner in the 1960s.

Elsie “Bill” Wisdom - Brooklands race-winner and rally driver, Elsie Wisdom, was mother to Ann Wisdom, who is best-known for being Pat Moss-Carlsson’s navigator in the early part of her career. After her marriage to Peter Riley, Ann occasionally navigated for him, too.

Judy Lyons - competes in historic Formula One in the UK against both her stepson, Michael, and her husband, Frank.

Monique Proulx - raced in single-seaters up to Formula Atlantic level in Canada in the 1970s, as well as sportscars, including a Chevrolet Camaro, in Trans-Am events. Her son, Stephane, was a promising single-seater driver, a rival to Jacques Villeneuve as Canada’s next Formula One hope. He died in 1987 from racing injuries. He also had HIV and was in poor health at the time.

Alexandra Hammersley - rally driver of the 1950s, who used a Peugeot 203 and a Lancia Aurelia, among others. Her daughter, Genevieve Hammersley, was a rally navigator. Unusually, she read the maps for her own mother.

(Picture from

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