Thursday, 29 January 2015

Women in National Sportscar Racing: the UK


Chloe and Jade Edwards

This post has been split off from Women in National Sportscar Racing, with some additions. Rebecca Jackson now has her own post.


Judy Andreason (Day; also Vickery) - raced a variety of cars between 1967 and 1983. She was best known for her exploits in a Marcos 1500 with the numberplate “HOT1E”, which she raced in sportscar events at Castle Combe and Brands Hatch. She was an early exponent of historic racing, and owned two 1930s MGs, a Magnette and an NA. As well as circuit racing, she competed in trials and rallies. She was an enthusiastic early member of the British Women Racing Drivers’ Club, and unfortunately, injured her neck during an all-female BWRDC Demolition Derby. This forced her retirement in 1983. She died in 2017, aged 75.

Nicola Bernans – raced in the VdeV series in 2008 and 2009. She was driving a Juno in the Modern Endurance category, and made guest appearances both years. In 2008, this was at Magny-Cours, and she had a best finish of tenth in a sprint race. The year before, she had raced a Radical in Britsports, with her brother, Richard Bernans. The brother-sister duo also raced as Counter Solutions Racing in the Fun Cup in 2008. Nicola does not appear to have raced in recent years.

Amanda Black – began racing through the Caterham Academy. She did her first couple of events in 2005 and 2006, but only really got her career started with the Academy, in 2011. That year, she scored her first race win, in the Graduates series. After more wins in 2012, she won the Graduate Sigma Championship, winning twelve of her sixteen races. In 2014 and 2015, she moved over to a Ginetta GT4 car. She raced in the MSA Endurance Series and Britcar, but did not have the funding for full championships. Despite this setback, she was a quick driver, with at least one second place in 2015. In 2016, she raced the Ginetta in the GT Cup championship, with Ian Anderson. They were sixth overall in the GTA standings. 

Jean Bloxam - mainly raced Aston Martins in Britain, in the 1950s. Beginning in 1952, she drove DB2 and DB3 models, mainly in National-level races at Silverstone and Goodwood. She was very successful at this level, with her first wins coming in 1956: a Ladies’ Handicap at Goodwood and a Closed Car Handicap at Silverstone. In the latter, she managed to beat Jeff Uren. The Ladies’ win was achieved in a Lotus Mark VIII. Other cars raced by Jean included a Ford Anglia and MG Magnette. Despite her string of strong finishes in National events, she only got to race in one big event, the 1967 Nürburgring 1000km. She and Patsy Burt drove an MGA, but had to retire with mechanical problems. Jean retired in 1961, after the death of her husband, Roy, at Goodwood. She died in 2016.

Angela Brown – raced in the early to mid-1950s. She almost always drove Aston Martin cars, which is unsurprising, given that her father was David Brown. Her best year was 1954; at a Silverstone meeting in July, she won a relay handicap with Reg Parnell, and was second in two other handicap races. Her car was a DB2. In 1955, she drove a DB3 and a DB2/4 around the UK, winning one Production Touring Car race at Castle Combe. This year, she drove a HWM-Jaguar belonging to George Abecassis in the Brighton Speed Trials, finishing well in the Ladies' class. She is also described as racing a Morris Minor at some point. Following her marriage to George Abecassis, she wound down her racing. Later, she owned racehorses. She died in 2000.

Vicki Butler-Henderson - better-known as a UK TV presenter and journalist, but raced in a number of saloon and sportscar series when she was younger. She did a full season in the Pentel Ginetta series in 2004. In 2004 she and Matthew Marsh also won a round of the Grand Prix-supporting Maserati Corse championship. Their car was a Coupe Cambiocorse. As well as this, she has driven and navigated in rallies, usually as part of her TV work. She has navigated for Louise Goodman and driven a Peugeot 206 in a British Championship round. Tiff Needell was her co-driver.

Brenda Dickinson – raced sportscars in the UK. She began early, at the age of seventeen. In 1961, she drove a Lola MkI, in which she won at least one race. That year, she was part of the Fury Team for the Silverstone 6 Hour Relay, although the result has been lost. She was 27 that year, and had been racing for some time. Her other cars, owned with her husband, Peter, included an Aston Martin, which she described as her favourite. She also took part in rallies, autocross and trials.

Valerie Diederichs - raced a Caterham in the UK between 2002 and 2004, as part of the Caterham Graduates programme. She moved up to Mega-Graduates in 2004 and won two "Best Improver" awards for advancing on her grid position, although she did not manage to get on to the podium. As well as Caterham Academy events, she also did some club racing. Until 2013, she was an aerodynamicist for the Mercedes Grand Prix team.

Chloe Edwards - began her career in the Playstation 2 Ginetta Junior series in 2005, continuing into 2006. Her finishing record was good. In 2007 and 2008, she did some club saloon racing in an MG ZR, finishing midfield in Class B of the BARC/Dunlop SportMaxx Cup. She was racing with her father, Jim Edwards, a former BTCC driver. In 2010, she raced in the Max5 championship for Mazda MX-5s. She did not race for three years before taking part in the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge in 2014. She won the last round, at Donington, along with her sister. In 2015, she did a part-season in the British GT Championship, racing an Aston Martin Vantage in the GT4 series. She scored two thirteenth places at Oulton Park. 

Emily Fletcher – raced between 2008 and 2012, usually in a Ginetta. She drove a G20 in the 2008 Havoline Ginetta Championship, and had a best finish of thirteenth, at Mallory Park. She had several DNFs, and was 26th overall. In 2009, she did some races in the G50 Cup at Brands Hatch, as well as having a better season in the G20 series. She broke into the top ten on three occasions, at Knockhill and Donington, had a perfect finishing record and was thirteenth in the championship. After that, she competed less, and got some unwelcome attention when she temporarily lost her driving license, for speeding. She participated in the Britcar 24 Hours three times, from 2010 to 2012, twice in a Ginetta G50. Her best result came in a Marcos Mantis, in 2011, driving for the Topcats team. She and her three team-mates were eighth.

Tamsin Germain (Chittenden) – did her first car races in 2016, after a long and successful senior career in karting. In 2012, she won the Rotax DD2 Masters race at Genk in Belgium. She was second in both the Euro Open and the Euro Challenge championships that year. In 2014 and 2015, she was second in the BNL Karting Series. In 2016, she is racing a Ginetta G40 in the GRDC championship. Her best result was a seventh place, at Donington, and she was normally in the lower half of the top ten. Her sister is Tiffany Chittenden, and her mother is Micki Vandervell.

Flick Haigh – long-time Caterham racer, now competing in VdeV in France. She started in the Caterham Classic Graduates series in 2007, and was seventh in her first year. In her second, she was fifth, and she won the series in 2009. Between 2010 and 2013, she raced in the Caterham R300 Superlight Championship, finishing seventh overall in 2010 and 2012. During this time, she also raced a Ginetta in some Britcar endurance races, as well as in the Dubai 24 Hours in 2013. She was 27th in a G50. In 2014, she partnered Sarah Reader in a Juno prototype, in the VdeV Endurance Challenge. Their best overall result was ninth, at Paul Ricard, although they scored well in class. They were 39th overall. In 2015, Flick took part in her second Dubai 24 Hours, driving an Aston Martin Vantage for Speedworks Motorsport. She was third in the SP3 class, 29th overall, driving with Paul O’Neill, Devon Modell and Paul Gilbert. Driving a Ginetta G55 for Optimum Motorsports, she won her class in the Mugello 12 Hours, and was 16th overall, as part of a three-driver team. A similar team was 34th in the Barcelona 24 Hours. She did several international endurance races in 2016, starting with the Dubai 24 Hours, and she was driving an Audi R8 LMS for Optimum Motorsport. She and her four team-mates were fourth overall. They were tenth in the Mugello round of the 24-Hour Series, but did not finish at Paul Ricard, although a return to the track for the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup in August gave them a fourth place. In December, they were a strong second in the Gulf 12 Hours, held at Yas Marina. 

Fiona James - began racing in 2007, driving a Radical SR4 to some class wins in Britsports. After that, she switched to a Ginetta G50, and competed for the next two seasons in both the British GT Cup and the Dutch Supercar Challenge, running part-time campaigns in each.  In 2010, she and the In2Racing team entered Britcar in the Ginetta. This included the season-ending Britcar 24 Hours, although they did not manage to finish. In 2011, she drove a Lamborghini Gallardo in Britsports, as part of the Panic team. She only managed to drive in the first round, and the car suffered a fire. Later in the season, she drove the Gallardo in the Barcelona 24 Hours, and was 41st overall, second in class. In 2012, she moved back to the Netherlands for the Dutch Supercar series, still in the Gallardo, but had to cut her season short, due to a skiing injury. She was ninth overall. She was meant to return in 2013, but does not appear to have raced. In 2014, she took part in the world's longest race, the Maxi Endurance 32h, at Algarve. She was second in the Sport class, driving a BMW M3 with four other British drivers. She did more 24-hour racing in 2015, taking part in the Barcelona 24 Hours in a BMW Z4, but she did not finish. The Lamborghini was also in evidence, at the Spa round of the Supercar Challenge. She was fourteenth in one race, and did not finish the other. She raced a BMW for Intersport at the 2016 Silverstone 24 Hours, as part of a four-driver team. They were 25th overall, after a radiator problem and a broken propshaft.

Jodie Kidd - raced in the Maserati Trofeo in 2004 and won a round at Bologna with Fabio Babini. Since then, she has taken part in several “Gumball”-style road rally events, but no more actual races. She is better known as a fashion model.

Caroline Lucas - raced GTs in the UK in the mid to late 1990s. She was second in the 1995 Porsche Cup and entered the British GT championship in 1998 and 1999. In 1998, she and Diane Osborne finished some races in a Porsche 911 RSR run by PK Sport. In the two races they managed to finish, Spa and Silverstone, they were eleventh and thirteenth. In 1999, she and Paul Phillips entered a few races in a similar car. Their best finish was one ninth place, at Donington. Caroline does not appear to have raced since then.

Nathalie McGloin – started racing in the Porsche Club championship in 2015. Her car is a Porsche Cayman. She did a second full season of the PCC in 2016, with a best finish of fifth, at Brands Hatch. Nathalie is the only female racing driver in the UK who uses a wheelchair, as a result of spinal injuries. Her Porsche has hand controls.

Charlotte Osborn (Gilbert) – raced in British GTs in 2001 in a Promotasport Marcos Mantis, after some races in Marcos one-make series. Her co-driver was Andrew Davies. Their finishing record was patchy to begin with, but they managed a twelfth place at Croft as their best finish. Their reliability improved towards the end of the year. Since then, she has occasionally taken part in Britcar, in a Marcos Mantis Cup or GT4, as part of Topcats Racing, a team she runs with Warren Gilbert.

Diane Osborne - drove a Porsche 911 RSR in the British GT championship with Caroline Lucas in 1998. Their best finish was eleventh, at Spa. Previously, she had been third in class in the 1995 Pirelli Porsche Cup, driving a 944S2, and raced a Porsche 968CS at Castle Combe. She came twelfth in the Porsche Open Trophy. Presumably, she took part in other races in this championship as well.

Jade Paveley - had her first year of competition in 2010, aged seventeen. She was racing in Britcar, in a Mazda UK Mazda MX-5 run by Jota Motorsport. Her usual team-mate was David Hooper. The car was lacking in power compared to others in its class, so Jade was unable to challenge for outright or even class wins, but she became the youngest person to finish a 24-hour race at the season-ending Britcar 24 Hours at Silverstone. In 2011, her actual racing programme was quite limited, although significant. She tested with the Lotus F1 team as a crew member, and also crewed for the Mazda team during the Valencia 6 Hours. In return, she drove for Mazda in the Snetterton 12 Hour race, and was second overall, first in class. She also entered some MX-5 Cup races as a Mazda guest driver. As well as this, she undertook various pieces of media work, including captaining a driving squad for a TV show. This approach continued in 2012: she was based in Ireland for some Formula Ford races with the Murphy Prototypes team, mainly working as a development driver. She also drove a Mazda prototype at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and undertook some other testing. In 2013, she was linked with a Mini Challenge drive, which does not seem to have happened. She drove in some club events, including the Birkett 6-Hour Relay. In 2014, she switched full-time to rallying, after one event in 2013. She competed around the UK in a Subaru Impreza and a Mitsubishi Lancer, with a best finish of fifteenth, in the Glyn Memorial Stages. She continued to rally the Impreza in 2015, and was an impressive ninth in the Toyota Harlech Stages. In 2016, she did not enter as many events, but kept competing, in a Mitsubishi Lancer. 

Sarah Reader – British driver who began her career in Caterhams, coming up through the Caterham Academy ranks. In 2005, she was fifth in the Caterham Eurocup. Since then, she has raced other sportscars, mainly in Europe. Between 2009 and 2014, she raced a Juno prototype in the Speed Euroseries and the VdeV Modern Challenge. She was more successful in the Speed Euroseries, finishing fifth in 2011, after two second and two third places. She earned an additional podium at Paul Ricard, in 2012. In 2014, she raced the Juno in the VdeV Challenge Endurance Proto, with Flick Haigh. She raced in the VW Fun Cup in 2015.

Louise Richardson - former karter, who began "senior" motorsport by competing in the Ginetta Junior series. She began racing the Ginetta in 2009, and was ninth in the championship that year after a string of late-season top five finshes. In 2010, she returned as a much more competitive driver. She finished third in the 2010 championship, thanks to two wins at Snetterton and Brands Hatch and a series of eleven podium places. 2010 was her last season of junior competiton, as she turned 17. In 2011, she moved into the senior Ginetta Supercup, and was sixth in the championship after three top-three finishes. She was also recommended for a series of awards for young and female drivers. In 2012, she was seventh in the Ginetta G50 Supercup, after four top-ten finishes. Although she only did a part-season in the G50 Supercup in 2013, she certainly made her presence felt, winning four of her five races, and finishing on the podium in all of them. She was fourth overall. In 2014, she changed direction, entering the British Formula Ford championship. She scored many top-ten positions, the best of them being a fourth place, at Rockingham. She was ninth overall. Her second season in the MSA Formula gave her her first podium, a third place at Croft. She was still somewhat inconsistent, but managed six top tens this year. She was sixteenth overall. 

Sian Stafford-Atkinson – races a Locost (Lotus 7 derivative) in the UK. She began racing in earnest as part of the original Formula Woman initiative, although she had done some track days before. She missed out on final selection for the 2005 series, but was one of the competitors for the 2006 championship, racing a Caterham Seven. Since 2009, she has been racing the Locost in the 750MC’s Locost Championship, and she is now one of the leading competitors in her class. In 2014, she was one of 29 female drivers who took part in the BWRDC’s “Race For A Record” ladies’ handicap at Silverstone, the largest ever all-female grid. 

Julie Thwaites - competed at club and National level in the UK in the 1980s, with considerable success. She scored her first class win in the Garelli Sportscar Championship in 1982, and later went on to achieve nine more in 1986 and 1987, driving a Davrian in the Kit Car Challenge. She was recognised as Britain’s most successful female circuit driver in 1985 and 1986.

(Image from http://www.chloejaderacing.com/)

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