Saturday, 31 January 2015

Women in UK Rallycross

Paige Bellerby

This post has been split off from the original Women in Rallycross post, with some additions. Shelley Wakeling, Sue Jeffery and Amy Binks have their own posts.

Paige Bellerby - began racing in the BTRDA Junior Rallycross Championship in the winter of 2009, before tackling the full championship in 2010. She scored one win at Blyton, and four second places. At the end of the season, she won the title, due to her consistent presence in finals. In 2011, she moved up to the Swift Sport junior rallycross series, and was third overall, with a best finish of third. She moved on to senior competition in 2012, in the form of the Swift Sport Cup. Her best finish was fourth, at Pembrey, and she was eighth overall. In 2013, she moved up to the senior Swift series, but only managed to compete in the last round, at Croft. After sitting out most of 2014 as well, Paige returned to action at Pembrey, driving a Lotus Exige in the SuperNational class of the British championship. In 2015, she raced in the British Supernational championship, in a Lotus Exige. At Croft, she became the first female driver to win an "A" Final in the class. Her final championship position was third. In 2016, she won two "A" Finals, on her way to another Supernational third, in the Exige. She improved this to second in 2017, winning three rounds outright. She is the daughter of multiple rallycross champion Dave Bellerby.

Suzi Brailsford – raced a Vauxhall Nova in a one-make championship class of the British championship, in 1990 and 1991. In 1991, she won a race at Lydden Hill, but was later disqualified. She also raced a Nissan Sunny at some point, possibly a little later. Details of her career are proving hard to track down.

Frankie Helliwell - active in British rallycross since at least 2009, when she competed in Junior Rallycross in a Mini. In recent seasons, she has used a BMW Mini. In 2016, she contested the Mini Rallycross Championship, with a best finish of third, which she earned twice during the year. She was fifth overall. In 2015, she also raced the Mini, and reached at least one “A” Final, at Croft. In 2017, she made one appearance in the British championship, at Croft.

Beccy Holland - drove in rallycross events in the UK between 2004 and 2006. Her car was a Peugeot 205 GTi, which she raced in the Stock Hatch class. She started out in the Winter series in 2004, before tackling some of the main season. In 2005, she only qualified for one “A” Final, but was competitive in “B” Finals. The following year she reached three British Championship (BRDA) finals and was tenth overall in the championship. She does not appear to have competed since then. 

Sue Lane - front-runner in the BTRDA 1600cc Production Rallycross championship in 2018, driving a Honda Civic. She scored her first win at Blyton at the end of 2017 and won again at the same track in mid-2018. At the time of writing, she is second in her class championship points table. She has been active in rallycross since at least 2016.

Samantha O’Flanagan - has driven in Minicross in British championships since at least 2008. In 2010, she was seventh in the Minicross Open Championship. This was the same position in which she finished in 2009. Her best finish in a single round was sixth. In 2010, she improved this to fifth. She was sixth in the 2011 championship, with a best finish of fourth. In 2013, she may have competed in Classic Minicross, but her results are not forthcoming. She remains in the sport as an administrative member of the Minicross Drivers' Association.

Tina Pinder (Scott) - one of Britain’s leading contemporary female rallycross drivers. In 2005, she drove a Peugeot 205 in the Stock Hatch class, with a best finish of fourth in BRDA events. She maintained her momentum the following year, qualifying for some “A” Finals and finishing eighth in the championship, driving both the 205 and a Peugeot 106. This was despite a dramatic crash at the Croft round. The 106 was upgraded to a 206 in 2007, and Tina was eleventh in Stock Hatch. She switched to a Citroen C2 for the 2008 season and was rewarded with second in the small but competitive Stock Hatch B class. She won the Super Modified title in 2009. 

Rebecca Ryder – raced in the BMW Mini class of the British Rallycross Championship in 2014. She was second in the championship, with two runner-up positions. In 2015, she stayed with the BMW Mini, but moved into circuit racing, contesting the Mini Challenge UK. 2014 seems to have been her first season of racing.

Leigh-Anne Sedgwick - winner of the 2017 British Rallycross Hot Hatch title. She won four rounds outright and was second twice, driving a Citroen Saxo. In 2016, she drove in the Irish rallycross championship, and was fourth in the Stockhatch class. Before that, she raced bangers and stock cars on short ovals, having made her debut in 2003, aged ten. She will remain in British rallycross in 2018, in the BMW Mini class.  

Tania Wilson (Jeffery) – made a comeback in 2009, driving a Peugeot 205 in the Revivals class of the British Championship. She scored some decent finishes, just out of the top three. Previously, she had competed in the contemporary championships in the late 1990s, although details of this are not readily available. She and Sue Jeffery are sisters.

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