Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Women Drivers in One-Make Series: the Netherlands in the 21st Century


L-R: Sandra Douma, Kim van den Berg, Laura Kool, Suzanne Jager, Theresia Balk

A large number of female drivers competes in one-make series in the Netherlands. Those who began their careers after 2000 can be found here. For earlier one-make specialists, please go to the original post

Kim (Guven) van den Berg - Dutch saloon specialist. She began racing in 2007, in the Suzuki Swift Cup, and was eighteenth overall after seven races. Her best finishes were two tenth places at Zandvoort. She also took part in the Barcelona 24 Hours in a VW Golf, with a Dutch team, and was 45th. Later in the year, she scored her first win in the Dutch Winter Endurance Series, in the Swift. In the 2008 Swift Cup she was 27th, after missing some races, and only managing a best finish of fourteenth, at Zandvoort and Zolder. She returned to the series in 2009 and showed much improvement, becoming a regular visitor to the top ten and scoring her first top-five place, a fourth in the penultimate round, at Zandvoort. She was tenth overall. She had a less successful season in 2010, mainly down to only contesting six races. This was reversed in 2011, when she ran in most of the Swift Cup, earning her first podium position. She was eighth in the championship. In 2012, she bettered her record again, with sixth overall, and four top-three finishes. In 2013, she took part in the Lotus Ladies' Cup in Eastern Europe. Her best finish was ninth, and she was thirteenth overall.

Carlijn Bergsma - races in one-make series in her native Netherlands, initially the Light division of the Benelux Racing League, from 2006 to 2008. From her first season, she proved herself capable of finishing in the top ten. Due to website issues, her full race results were unavailable at the time of writing. She did not compete for the full season in 2008. Previously, she took part in the Pearle Alfa 147 Challenge in 2002, and also the Toyota Yaris and SEAT Cupra Cups. In 2011, she competed in the BMW Z4 Zilhouette Cup with Pieter de Jong. They were sixth overall, with six top-three finishes. Carlijn continued in the Zilhouette Cup in 2012, driving with Sipke Bijzitter this time. They were third overall, after nine podium finishes, although no wins. In 2013, she had another season in Zilhouette racing, with Piet de Jong this time. They participated in at least two rounds, and achieved podium positions at both. With the same team-mate, she won the championship in 2014, winning three times. She continued her winning ways in the Sport division of the Supercar Challenge in 2015, winning three races in a Lotus Exige. She was fourth overall, losing a few points due to DNFs. She returned to the Supercar Challenge in 2016, with Pieter de Jong. They were fifth in their class, with two wins. 

Cynthia Boezaart - made a late debut in motorsport in 2009, at the age of 38. She contested the Volkswagen Endurance Cup in a Golf, for Certainty Racing. The four-driver team, including Cynthia's husband, Martin, was 28th in the championship. Cynthia contested the Diesel Touring Cup in a BMW in 2010. She was 45th out of 63 drivers. Returning to the series in 2011, she was 27th, and managed to score her first pole position. In 2012, she raced in the Burando Production Open in a Ginetta G50. She was seventh overall, her best championship result to date. In 2014, she raced an Avenger kit car in the Avenger Cup, but lost out on a podium place in the final leaderboard, due to not scoring any points in the last three rounds. In 2015, she raced in the DNRT Endurance Cup in a BMW 320d. Driving as part of a team of three, she was second overall in the Zandvoort 6 Hours. She raced a Mazda MX-5 in the Max5 Cup in 2016, as part of a two-driver team with Martin.

Myrthe Bos – raced in the PTC Cup in the Netherlands in 2011 and 2012. Both times, her car was a Toyota Aygo. In 2011, she was ninth, after doing just under half the season. A shorter programme in 2012 gave her twelfth place. She was only sixteen years old when she started in the PTC Cup. She returned to the PTC Cup in 2013, driving with Perry Grondstra, but was not among the frontrunners. After 2013, she does not appear to have raced, probably due to funding issues. Her website has been taken down.

Liz Grondel – raced a Toyota Aygo in the Netherlands in 2010 and 2011. In 2010, she competed in the M-Lease Aygo Cup, and was third overall, with eleven podium finishes from twelve races. The following year, she took part in the Aygo-based PTC Cup, but did not do a full season. She was tenth in the final standings. After this, she seems to have left motorsport, in favour of running her own cafe business.

Sharona van den Haak - drove in the SEAT Endurance Cup in 2009, in a diesel Ibiza. She and the SR Competition team were twelfth, with one pole position. This appears to have been Sharona's first competitive season on the circuits. In 2012, she was racing a BMW E30 in club endurance events. Previously, she raced karts.

Nicolette van der Hoek Ostende (Koster) - Dutch driver with wins in touring car endurance races. She was given an award for being the leading female driver in the Netherlands in 2002, after competing strongly in the Toyota Yaris Cup. Her final result was fourth overall. In 2001, she had a similar season, and led the Coupe des Dames standings from Paulien Zwart. Nicolette’s endurance successes came in the Dutch Winter Endurance series between the 2001 and 2002 seasons, where she was a race-winner. She has not competed since the birth of her daughter in 2003.

Suzanne Jager - Dutch saloon racer who competed in the Suzuki Swift Cup from 2007. She was seventh in 2007 and thirteenth in 2008. As well as the one-make championship, she shared a car with Laura Kool for the Dutch Winter Endurance Series. The pair first drove together in 2006 in the Winter Endurance Series, sharing a BMW E30. Suzanne’s partner in 2007 was Kim van den Berg, and she drove the Swift. After several years of karting, Suzanne began full-size motorsport in 2004, racing a Volvo 360. She won the 360 class in the Volvo championship in 2006, after winning five races. She did some Swift races in 2009.

Laura Katsma - competed in the Suzuki Swift Cup in the Netherlands in 2009. She was 18th in the championship, and had a best finish of ninth at the Paasraces meeting at Zandvoort. Her form dipped towards the end of the season, possibly due to an accident that put her out of one of the races. Previously, she had raced the Swift in one round of the 2008-2009 Dutch Winter Endurance Series. In 2010, she returned to the series, and was fifteenth overall. Her best finish was fourth.

Laura Kool - drove in the Suzuki Swift Cup in the Netherlands in 2007. She was fifteenth overall in what was her first full season of car racing. Later in the year, she drove the Swift in a round of the Dutch Winter Endurance Championship. As well as the Suzuki, she also did some club racing in a BMW 325i at Zandvoort, in 2006 and 2007. Prior to 2007, she was a successful karter on the European circuit, with a best result of third overall in her national championship. She does not appear to have raced since the end of 2007, despite being linked with the Dunlop Sport Maxx series.

Melanie Lancaster - one of the youngest Dutch drivers ever to race in a senior series, aged sixteen, in 2007. She started competing full-time in 2008, after some testing and race school events, in the Dacia Logan Cup in the Netherlands. Her best finish was a second at Zandvoort, and she was seventh overall after a further two third places and some more top tens. In 2009, she entered the DNRT BMW E30 Cup, after a guest spot in the Dutch Winter Endurance Series. She only appears to have competed in two races, perhaps due to funding problems. Since then, she has done some drifting and worked in race tuition and development.

Renate Sanders (Wilschut) - Dutch one-make saloon regular. She has raced in the Toyota Yaris Cup and the SEAT Cupra Cup, the latter alongside Paulien Zwart. She drove the Yaris between 2001 and 2003. Her best result was seventh in 2003. After that, she moved to the SEAT Cupra series, initially with her father Bertus, and then with Paulien Zwart. She was seventh in 2004 and sixth in 2005. In 2006, she entered the Dutch Endurance Championship in a BMW 120d, assisted once again by Bertus and Frank Wilschut. She and Frank remained team-mates for 2007, back in SEAT Cupras. The third driver was Jacco Valentijn. In 2008, they entered the Toyo Tyres 24-Hour series. They were 25th in the Dubai race, in the BMW. Using the same car, they competed in a touring car series for diesel vehicles in Holland. As Renate Wilschut, she drove a BMW 123d in the 2011 Dutch Toerwagen Cup, and was 29th in the championship. In 2013, she competed in the Lotus Ladies' Cup, and was eleventh overall, with two second places. As well as this, she drove a BMW 120d in the Burando Production Open, and was third overall. She returned to the Lotus Cup in 2014, and fared much better, coming third, after two podium places at Oschersleben.


Karen Schipper – raced in the SEAT Endurance Cup during the 2007 and 2009 seasons. In 2009, she was fifth in the championship, with one podium finish. Her car was a SEAT Ibiza, and she was racing as part of a four-driver SNA Racing team. In 2007, she raced for the SP-Support team, in the Unipart Endurance Cup. Results are harder to come by, but the team was eighth in the season finale at Zandvoort.

Femke Terpstra - karter and saloon racer from the Netherlands. After three years of championship karting, she entered the Light division of the Benelux Racing League in 2007, driving a Ford Focus silhouette car. She was sixteenth overall after car trouble marred her season. As well as the BRL, she did four races of the Mini Challenge, won two of them and came second in another. This was enough to win her the championship. In 2008, she returned to BRL Lights. It was a much stronger year for her and she was seventh. Her best race finish was fourth, at Zolder, and she was consistently in the top ten finishers. She took part in two BRL races in 2009, but retired after that, following some sponsorship deals that turned out to be false.

Femke Thijssen – finished fourth in the PTC Cup in 2012, driving a Toyota Aygo. She won one race. Later that year, she did at least some races in the Dutch Supercar Challenge, driving the Aygo with Henk Thijssen. In 2013, she did some more PTC Cup racing, and won at least one race, as part of a two-driver team with Joyce Kraan. They were thirteenth in the ACNN PTC championship, as a team. 

Madelon van der Vossen - competed in the Toyota Yaris Cup in the Netherlands in 2001 and 2002. In 2001, she only made one guest appearance, but in 2002, she completed most of the season and was  27th overall. That year, there was quite a strong female presence in the series, and in the Ladies’ Cup, she was normally third. She seems to have missed part of the season due to injuries sustained in a crash, and did not return to the circuits.

Maaike de Wit - began racing full-time in 2008, in the Formido Suzuki Swift Cup in the Netherlands. She was 29th in the championship, with a best finish of fourteenth at the Jubileumraces at Zandvoort. Her first season was marred by quite a lot of DNFs. After a brief run in her Swift in the 2008-2009 Dutch Winter Endurance Championship, she returned to the Swift Cup in 2009. She was 23rd in the points, after a slightly more consistent season, with more finishes. Her best result was fifteenth at the Masters of Formula 3 meeting at Zandvoort. On her return in 2010, she improved that to a tenth place at Zandvoort.

Ella Zander - began her racing career in 2009, in the Dutch Suzuki Swift Cup. She did not enter all of the races, and had best finishes of 17th and 18th in the final races of the year, at Zandvoort. In spite of this, she had a reliable season and finished all of the races she started. She was 24th in the championship.

(Image copyright Chris Schotanus)

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