Monday, 31 October 2016

Jacquie Bond-Smith

Jacquie in the Marcos in 1967

Jacquie Bond-Smith started in club motorsport in her father's car, a “Wavendon Wombat” special, in 1960. She was then known as Jacquie Cook. The Wombat was an 1172cc clubman’s car built by her father, Arthur Cook. Results for Jacquie in this car are proving tough to track down. Both she and her sister, Joey, raced it on occasion.

Some time in the early 1960s, she married John Bond-Smith, a racer and businessman. At the same time, she seems to have made her way up through the club racing ranks, and was awarded the Chris Bristow Trophy by the BRDC in 1964, in recognition of “the most promising performance at Silverstone.” This may well have been in a Ford Cortina, or possibly a Lotus single-seater.

She definitely did race a Cortina in 1965, a Lotus model. She drove it in some rounds of the BSCC, and secured a best finish of tenth at Snetterton, followed by seventeenth place in the St Marys Trophy at Goodwood. For the next round, she drove a Ford Galaxie, at Silverstone, but did not finish. It was her only BSCC outing of the year in that car, although she did race it in the European Touring Car Championship. In August, she was thirteenth in the Snetterton 500km, winning her class.

In club races, she used a Lotus Elan. In this car, she was third in a GT race at Silverstone in October, winning her class.

In 1966, she returned to sportscar racing, campaigning a Lotus 23 in British club races. She was twelfth in one race at Silverstone, just behind sister Joey in the Wombat.

Jacquie’s big project for 1967 was the FLIRT all-girl racing team. FLIRT stood for “First Ladies International Racing Team”, and it was made up of Jacquie and Joey, plus Jacqui Smith, another young driver who had had some success in British club events in a Hillman Imp. Their car was a Mini Marcos, supplied by the Marcos factory. The team picked up quite a lot of publicity, with a Pathé film being made of the three of them testing at Castle Combe.

FLIRT made three appearances in the World Manufacturers’ Championship in Europe. Jacquie and Joey were the chosen drivers. They did not finish the Nürburgring 1000km due to engine problems, but they got to the end of the Mugello Grand Prix, in 37th place. Later in the season, Jacquie drove the Nürburgring 500km solo, and was 21st overall, fourth in class. Joey drove a sister car, but did not finish. The FLIRT team may well have done some more British races, but the results are proving elusive.

As well as her FLIRT activities, Jacquie raced in the British Sportscar Championship. She was seventeenth in the Silverstone round, in a Porsche 904, and may also have raced a Ferrari 250LM belonging to her husband.

She disappears from the entry lists at the end of 1967. Not long after, her marriage broke up. After her racing career ended, she adopted horseriding as her sport of choice.

 (Image from

Friday, 28 October 2016

Renee Gracie

Renee in 2016

Renee Gracie currently races in V8 Supercars in Australia.

She was quite sporty from an early age. In common with many other speedqueens, she was initially drawn towards horses. She only got interested in motorsport after trying karting on holiday, in 2008.

She began her senior career in 2012, aged 17, in Aussie Racing Cars, after three years of karting. She drove a Yamaha-engined Commodore in four rounds.

In 2013, she entered the Australian Porsche Carerra Cup, a first for a female driver. She was supported by the “Cool Driver” youth development programme run by Fujitsu, who sponsored her, and had been supporting her for the last two years. In her first season, she held her own in a large field (the winner was Craig Baird), and was 19th overall.

In 2014, she had a second season in the Porsche Cup. She got into the top ten five times, and had a best finish of sixth, at Phillip Island. She was 15th overall. In addition to this, she was one of only two drivers to have a 100% finishing record, the other being Craig Baird.

In 2015, she moved into V8 Supercars, driving a Ford Falcon for Paul Morris’s team, in the Dunlop development series. Her best finish was twelfth, at Townsville. Towards the end of the season, she did improve: her best meeting overall was the last one, at Sydney Motorsport Park, where she was thirteenth and fourteenth.

She also gained a lot of attention for her entry into the Bathurst 1000 with Simona de Silvestro, the first all-female team for many years. The team was run by Prodrive Australia, and they were 21st in their "Supergirls" Ford Falcon, after an accident by Renee lost them a lot of time.   

A second season in the Dunlop series followed in 2016, still with Paul Morris Motorsport and driving the Falcon. She repeated her twelfth place best-finish at Adelaide and Sandown. It was another challenging season, but she was a steady finisher, and was 21st in the championship, just behind the other female driver in the series, Chelsea Angelo in her Dragon Racing Holden Commodore. Her car was outclassed by the newer models on the grid and it was hard to keep on the pace. Before the end of the season, Renee made the decision to leave Paul Morris Motorsport, in order to find a new deal and concentrate on her wildcard entry into the Bathurst 1000.

Renee teamed up once more with Simona de Silvestro for the Bathurst 1000. This time, they were driving a Nissan Altima for the Australian Nissan team. They raced as the “Harvey Norman Supergirls”, and were fourteenth overall.  Their race was free of major incident in a race of high attrition.

Renee’s long-term aim is to compete full-time as a professional driver. In 2017, she raced in the Super2 category of the Supercar Dunlop Series, for the Dragon Motor Racing team. She found it rather hard-going and was 23rd overall, with a best finish of fourteenth at Adelaide. Her car was a Holden VF Commodore.

(Image from

Monday, 24 October 2016

Ivy Cummings

Ivy and friend at Gaillon, 1921

Ivy Cummings is most famous for being the youngest person ever to lap Brooklands, aged twelve, in 1913. She became a successful racing driver as an adult, and particularly excelled at hillclimbing.

According to the story, Ivy and her father had driven down to Brooklands in her father’s SCAR touring car. While his back was turned, watching the flying from the airfield, the pre-teen Ivy drove off in the car, and got onto the track. She was driving surprisingly quickly, and resisted being caught. She was only apprehended when the car developed a puncture, and she hurt her hand trying to jack it up.

There may have been some exaggeration going on with this story, which has become something of a Brooklands legend, but it certainly started somewhere. No date is ever given for when it happened, but it has remained remarkably consistent over the years. Ivy’s age is often quoted as being eleven at the time, but she was born in 1900, so she was twelve or thirteen.

Just a few years later, during the First World War, Ivy was driving around in her own car, a Peugeot. She helped out at a convalescent home for injured soldiers, and kept their spirits up by taking them out for drives, as well as taking her mother and grandmother on errands.

She started her legitimate racing career after World War I, possibly as early as 1919. In 1921, she raced a Coupe de l’Auto Sunbeam 12/16 in France. It is said that she won a race, possibly on sand, but further details are rather hazy. Pictures from that year show her posing in the car at Gaillon, which ties in with contemporary reports of her entering the hillclimb there, driving a 130hp car.

She won the 1922 Duke of York Long Distance Handicap in the Coupe de l'Auto Sunbeam. Shortly after, she drove well in the Sunbeam in the Car Speed Championship, finishing third in the Essex Senior Short Handicap, and second in the Essex Junior Long Handicap. 

In June 1923, she won a Bexhill speed trial in a Bugatti. Further details about this car are not forthcoming. In September, a second speed trial was held at Bexhill, over a mile. Ivy won this event, too. Her car on this occasion was the famous 5000cc 1913 Bugatti, “Black Bess”, as named by Ivy. In March, she had driven “Bess” in the Kop Hill climb, in Essex.

In 1925, she won her class in the Skegness Speed Trials in this car. Ivy was not the only female driver; Cecil Christie was there with her Vauxhall, and the two seem to become friends. Reports in Motor Sport suggested that this would be Ivy’s last event before marrying, but this does not seem to have transpired just yet.

In between, Ivy also raced the GN “Akela”, normally in hillclimbs. She won her class in the South Harting climb, organised by the Surbiton Motor Club. In the Arundell Speed Trial, which, like the South Harting event, was run over a half-mile course, she also won the 1500cc class, finishing just four-tenths of a second behind the winner, Woolf Barnato in a Hispano-Suiza. The GN appeared at the Spread Eagle Hill climb, the Brighton Speed Trials and the Herne Bay Speed Trails that year. Akela was sold on at the end of the season. For the Aston Clinton hillclimb, she drove the Bugatti instead.

In 1926, she raced the Bugatti in France. She entered the Grand Prix de Boulogne, run on sand, and led for the first three laps, but rolled her car into a ditch and did not finish. After this mishap, she is reported to have telephoned her father, to tell him that she was all right. Motor racing was very much a family thing for Ivy, who sometimes had her mother in the car with her, as her riding mechanic. She had also taken a Frazer Nash along, which she used in the speed trial.

Back in England, she raced again on the sand at Southport, in a Frazer Nash, with Cecil Christie. In June, she was back at Brooklands for the JCC High Speed Trial.

After 1926, she competed much less frequently. She drove a Riley in the JCC Half Day Trial, which seems to have been her last event.

Ivy married a radiologist and this put an end to her racing career. She died in 1971.

(Image from

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Sophia Flörsch

Sophia Flörsch is a German driver who began racing in the UK in 2015. She is one of the most talked-about and highly-rated female drivers of the past few years.

Her senior debut followed a six-year karting career, which included two championship wins: the ADAC Kart Bundeslauf Bambini B title in 2009, and the 2010 60cc Easykart European Grand Finals. She was picked up by the Red Bull talent scouts, and although she is not an official Red Bull junior team member, she is still associated with them.

She took part in the Ginetta Junior championship in 2015, and was one of the younger drivers in the series, aged fourteen. Despite her age and inexperience, she was one of the fastest drivers in the series, winning twice at Thruxton. She was the youngest driver to win a Ginetta Junior race. After Thruxton, she was second at Croft. Her season had built slowly, from a fifth at Brands Hatch. Observers from the media and teams sat up and took note.

 In a somewhat controversial decision, she left the championship after five rounds, in order to conserve money and to train for a season in Formula 4 in 2016. Single-seaters had always been her ultimate goal, but she was unable to start racing them until she was fifteen.

She returned to Germany, and duly entered the ADAC Formula 4 series, with the Motopark team. She was only just fifteen.

It was a tough year. The season started well enough, with a ninth place at Oschersleben, rising to fifth in the third race. After the first break of the season, Sophia’s lack of testing time started to show, and her results slipped. Other, older drivers working with better-funded teams were able to devote time to testing; Sophia had to take her final school exams instead. The team also had problems with strategy, often involving tyres, which were linked to the lack of testing time, and therefore experience of new tyres. She battled into the top ten on three more occasions, at Oschersleben, Red Bull Ring and the Nürburgring, but too many other races were marred by emergency pit stops, small accidents, poor starts and race plans that did not pay off.

Towards the end of the year, she adjusted her expectations to finishing the season, and learning as much as she could. F4 had been intended as a one-year springboard to Formula 3, but another season was needed for Sophia to prove what she was really capable of. She was 19th in the championship.

She got her second season in 2017, driving for Mucke Motorsport. It was a double attack on both the German and Italian F4 championships. In the Italian series, she only did a part-season, but became a solid top-ten finisher quite early. In May, she earned her best result: a fifth at Adria.

The ADAC championship was a different story. Sophia continued to find it hard going in the early part of the season. By the Lausitz rounds in May, she was sneaking into the top ten, but she could not find consistency. It took until the end of the season for her to click with the car, when she managed third spots at Sachsenring and Hockenheim. She had two fastest laps at Hockenheim and would have had another podium had she not been disqualified. This was not her first brush with the Clerk of the Course either; she was fined 20,000 Euros for sharing unauthorised footage earlier in the year of her almost collided with an errant course car that suddenly appeared on track.

She was 13th in the championship.

In 2018, she moved up to the FIA European Formula 3 Championship with Van Amersfoot Racing. It was a late deal so she had no time for testing. Towards the end of the year, she was clearly learning the ropes; she picked up her first top-ten finish at the Red Bull Ring in September.

In November, she went to Macau with VAR and impressed onlookers with her qualifying pace. However, her race proper was ended by a serious accident. Her car collided with a slower car and took off over its wheels, coming to rest in a photography bunker. Sophia suffered a broken vertebra and needed surgery. A small number of photographers and marshals was also injured.

She intends to progress up the single-seater career ladder, with the ultimate aim of a Formula One race seat. VAR ran her for another season in F3 in 2019; the team intended to contest the Formula European Masters series, but switched to the F3 Regional European Championship after the FEM was cancelled. This left Sophia and VAR on the back foot, although she had a solid if unspectacular year. Her best finishes were two fourth places at the Hungaroring and Imola and she was sometimes caught up in accidents that were not of her causing. She was seventh in the championship.

Later in the year, she tested an FIA F3 car with HWA Racelab. The team ran her on her return to Macau in November, but she did not finish.

(Image copyright Alexander Trienitz)

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Female Single-Seater Drivers Around the World: Canada

Ashley Taws

Female drivers have been a feature of the Canadian single-seater scene since the 1970s. Formula Ford has been particularly popular. Louise Roberge now has her own post.

Amy Castell – began racing Formula Ford 1600 in Canada in 2012, at the age of sixteen. She was the youngest driver on the grid, and she was instantly competitive, despite driving a 40-year-old Zink Z10 car. Her best finish of the season was third, at Calabogie Motorsports Park. Later that season, she had a big accident and had to take some time off, but she came back in 2013, about half-way through the season. Since then, she has raced a 1990 Reynard SF90. In 2014, she won her first race, at Honda Indy, and was third in the Toyo Tires FF1600 championship. In 2015, she competed in the B Class of the Canadian F1600 Championship Series. She managed four podium finishes – one second and three third – and was third in the championship. 

Molly Elliott – Canadian driver who raced single-seaters in her home country in 1986. She competed in both Formula Ford and Formula Vee. Formula Ford 2000 was her most successful series, and she was ninth in the Canadian championship. Molly’s later activities are not well-documented, but she was still racing in Formula Ford in Canada in 1991. She was 20th in the championship, with a best finish of eighth, at Mosport. 

Megan Gilkes - a leading name in Canadian Formula 1200 since 2017. She has picked up wins in both of her seasons in the championship and was runner-up in 2018. Her experiences in larger-capacity cars have not been quite as successful, but she has raced both Formula 2000 in Canada and Formula Vee in Brazil. In 2019, she was announced as one of the 18 drivers selected for the women-only W Series and shortly after that, began competing in the F3 Americas championship. She was one of the weaker drivers in the W Series and was substituted for one race, in an unpopular move by W management. Her only real highlight was her win in the Assen reverse-grid race, which was not part of the championship. She ran better in US F3, picking up one ninth place at Pittsburgh. She also started the Viriginia round but crashed in the first race. Back in a Van Diemen F2000, she did a couple of races in the US championship, finishing seventh at Road Atlanta.

Caitlin Johnston – races in Formula Ford 1600 in Canada. Her first season was in 2007, after she won a senior karting championship.Her best year has probably been 2010, when she was third outright in the Formula Ford Ontario Championship, with two runner-up spots at Mosport as her best finishes. That year, she also competed in three rounds of the NASCAR Canadian Tyre Series. Periodically, she has raced in the US as well as Canada, and has tried 2000cc Formula Ford as well as 1600. After a couple of quieter years, she was fourth in the 2014 F1600 championship, earning one podium position and a start from pole. She has been much less active since then. 

Patricia Smith – raced in Formula B in Canada for a part-season in 1973. Her car was a Ford-engined March. She was a rival of Linda Wilson. That year, she was 23rd in the championship. She scored at least one finish, a seventeenth place at the Sanair circuit in Quebec. Patricia was from Montreal herself, and was sponsored by PS Transport, which looks to have been a family firm.

Carol Soucy - Canadian driver from Quebec, who raced in Toyota Formula Atlantic in 1997. She was 33rd overall in the championship, having entered three races. Her best finish was thirteenth, at Trois-Rivieres. She did not finish the other two races. In 2002, she did at least a part-season in Formula Ford in Canada. Prior to her Atlantic exploits, she had also raced in Formula Ford in 1996.

Ashley Taws - successful young Canadian Formula Ford driver between 2000 and 2002, recognisable for her pink, "Barbie"-sponsored car. She was a race-winner at 1200cc level and scored seconds and thirds in her one season of 1600cc competition. In only her first season, she won two races, and she was second in the championship in 2001. She moved up to the more competitive 1600cc class in 2002. Her career was almost ended by a serious road traffic accident at the end of 2002. She only returned to motorsport full-time in 2007, in a BMW, and later, a CASCAR stock car. Although she showed promise, finishing second in only her third CASCAR race, she did not take to oval racing and quit in 2009. She is now pursuing a business career.

Linda Wilson – Canadian driver who raced in single-seaters in the 1970s. She took part in Formula B in 1972 and 1973, driving for the Fergusson-Wilson team. Her car was a Chevron B20. She scored at least one fifteenth place at the Sanair circuit in 1973, one of six races in Formula B that she did that year. She was seventeenth in the championship.

(Image from

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Monique Proulx

Monique with the BMW 2002

Monique Proulx was a Québécois driver who raced mostly in Canada in the 1970s.

She was born in 1947, and had a rather shaky start in life, contracting polio at the age of three, which meant that she had difficulty walking until she was a teenager. Initially, she worked as a teacher. This came to a temporary halt at the end of 1965, when she found herself with a baby son, Stéphane. As a single mother, she continued to work, but now as a model and actress. In 1971, she appeared in several Canadian TV adverts, including one for tights. She also owned a local chain of beauty salons.

She began racing in 1971, after becoming romantically involved with Jacques Fortin, who raced at club level. They shared a BMW 2002, and Monique also raced a Datsun 240Z. She started out in novice races, and often made the podium. She finished as runner-up in a Canadian Production endurance championship in the Datsun. Her start in motorsport apparently followed a court battle with the Canadian Auto Sports Club, which had vetoed her international license being awarded. Early in her career, she had a female rival, Louise Roberge. The press were keen to publicise their apparent dislike of one another.

In 1972, she bought her first single-seater, a second-hand 1600cc Formula Ford. This car was far more expensive to run than the BMW, so she continued to share her boyfriend’s car, making only a few appearances. In the BMW, she was eighth in the Sanair Trans-Am race.

Another run in the Sanair Trans-Am race in 1973, in the same car, led to a fourteenth place. She was the top Canadian finisher.

After some Formula Ford and Formula Vee races, she raised her single-seater game in 1974, and took the step up to Formula Atlantic. In her first season, she became the first woman to qualify for a race at the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, although it was a support race, rather than Formula One. This year, she raced Alan Karlberg’s car, with sponsorship from Kimberly-Clark.

Back in a saloon, she was the first, and still the only, woman to win a mixed race at Catamount Speedway. She was racing in Ministocks.

She competed in Formula Atlantic between 1974 and 1979, once scoring a pole position in 1976. Due to sponsorship pressures, she did not complete as full season during this time. In 1975, she was sponsored by New Freedom, a new brand of sanitary towels, which was somewhat shocking in the male-dominated world of motor racing. Driver and commentator David Hobbs is meant to have joked, “I’m only worried it will rain and the damn car will swell and not get between the guardrails!” 

Monique was quite successful in getting innovative sponsorship deals, albeit short-term ones. She was apparently the first female driver to be sponsored by a tobacco company, although the details of this are proving hard to find. This was probably due to her TV work, which included acting, stunts and being a “traffic girl” in a helicopter. In 1976, she appeared on the Canadian version of “Superstars”, but was not among the leading sportswomen.

Later, she also raced a Chevrolet Camaro. In 1979, she did at least one race in Trans-Am, at Trois-Rivières, finishing eighteenth.

Her son, Stéphane, was also a racing driver. She retired from the circuits in 1980, in order to support him in his own racing activities. He was a contemporary of Jacques Villeneuve and was tipped as one to watch. He died in 1993, from head injuries complicated by advanced HIV.

Monique died in 2012, aged 65.

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Friday, 7 October 2016

Roxie Lott

Roxie raced a Toyota-engined Ralt RT3 like this one in 1984, in pink!

Roxie Lott was an American driver who was probably most famous for her efforts in the British Formula 3 Championship in 1984.

She was born in Indianapolis in 1961. She attended her first Indy 500 at the age of three, and announced to her mother that she was building a racing car engine when she was six, as soapbox carts were not fast enough for her.

When she was twelve, she began racing in junior Quarter Midget events, in a car her mother bought on hire purchase. While still at school, she spent a lot of time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, sometimes missing classes to do so. She apparently became friends with both Mario Andretti and Al Unser. When she was there, she helped various teams out, polishing and cleaning cars and doing odd jobs.

She achieved some success as a midget racer. Between 1976 and 1978, she won fifteen races, and went to Grand National meetings twice. After spending some time learning about full-size midget cars, she became more interested in road racing, and enrolled at the Skip Barber driving school. In 1979, she got to race a Formula Ford at Mid-Ohio as part of her training. At around that time, she travelled to England for the first time, and drove a Formula Ford there. Apparently, she raced once “in Europe”, probably in the UK, and came third. This drive was arranged by Teddy Yip of Theodore Racing, for whom Roxie was working at the time.

In 1982, she went on record saying that her biggest ambition was to race in the Indy 500, in an interview with the Indianapolis Star. However, despite her friends in high places and enterprising nature, she struggled for sponsorship.

That year, she raced in Formula Super Vee in the States. She did at least one race for Bill Scott Racing, but no results are forthcoming.

1984 was meant to be a breakthrough year for Roxie. She returned to England to race in Formula 3, with RD Motorsport. Speaking afterwards, she said that this should have been a good experience, but it was not. She only got to start one race, the Marlboro International Trophy at Silverstone, in April. This race ended after four laps, when she was unable to continue after a spin. Her pink Ralt RT3 gained some media attention, but by and large, it was not a positive experience for its driver.

After her British disappointment, it seems to have been increasingly difficult for Roxie to gain sponsorship, and she only raced sporadically. As she was never in a championship long enough to learn the car and understand her opponents, she struggled for pace. In 1986, she managed to score a point in the Formula Super Vee championship in the States, driving for Arciero Racing.

In 1988, after another couple of guest appearances in support races, Roxie called time on her racing career. She was twenty-eight years old. Some sources claim that she tried to take the Indy rookie test, but nothing official says that she did. Her ambition to race in the Indy 500 was put on hold indefinitely.

After turning her back on motorsport, she proved herself in another high-speed arena: flight. She worked as a commercial pilot for several years and racked up enough flight time to be promoted to Captain very quickly. In aviation, she was known as Roxie Lott Strish, having married Larry Strish. She retired after his death in 1995.

Later in life, she gave driving tours of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. She died of ovarian cancer in April 2007, and was mourned by the Indianapolis racing community.

(Image from

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Tomiko Yoshikawa

Tomiko in 1993

Tomiko Yoshikawa raced sportscars in both Europe and Japan in the 1990s, including at Le Mans. She also competed in single-seaters up to Formula 3 level in Japan, from 1980 onwards.

She was born in Nagoya in 1954. Her first involvement with motorsport seems to have been a couple of races in Japanese Formula 3, in 1980. She made another guest appearance in the series in 1981, before committing to a bigger race programme in 1982.

1983 was her best season in Japanese F3. She was tenth overall. In 1984, she scored more points, but was eleventh. Both times, she was driving a Japanese-built Hayashi-Toyota.

It was in about 1985 that she switched to sportscars. Initially, she raced at her home circuit of Fuji, in the Fuji Grand Champion Series. Her car was a BMW-engined MCS 5, run by Maribu Motorsport. She entered three of the four rounds, with a best finish of sixteenth in the opening round, the 300km race in March. In 1986, she entered the first round of the FGC again in the MCS, but did not finish. Unfortunately, she was involved in a multi-car crash on the sixth lap, which brought out a red flag. She does not appear to have raced again for quite a while afterwards. There is little easily accessible information about this accident, although Tomiko may have been injured, causing her absence.

She returned to the circuits in 1988. This year, she drove in her first Suzuka 1000km. Her car was a Hiro HRS3, shared with Kouzou Okumura. They did not finish.

The following year, she did some more endurance racing in the All-Japan Sports Prototype Championship, in the Fuji race this time. She got to the finish in her Group C Mazda 757, but was not classified. Her team-mates were Kazuhiko Oda and Keiichi Mizutani.

After another break in 1990, she returned to the All-Japan Prototype series in a Spice SE90C. This was the start of quite a lengthy associated between Gordon Spice’s team and Tomiko. She narrowly missed out on a Le Mans start with the Euro Racing setup, which was running an all-female Spice team in a pink car. Although her entry was accepted initially, she was prevented from starting due to not having the appropriate license upgrade. Tomiko practised, but Desiré Wilson, Cathy Muller and Lyn St. James were chosen for the race itself. The team’s race ended quite abruptly anyway, in a crash.

Back in Japan, she drove the same car for the Aoshima Tsunemasa team in the Fuji 1000km. She and her team-mates, Hideshi Matsuda and Hideo Fukuyama, did not finish, due to an engine problem.

Tomiko raced at Le Mans three times, in 1992, 1993 and 1994. Her best result was in 1992, when she finished 15th in a Chamberlain Spice SE88C, although she had not driven enough laps for official classification. The all-female team had originally been built around her, and as she did not get to drive in 1991, she was placed in a mixed team for 1992, with Kenta Shimamura and Jun Harada.
In 1993, she had to retire in a Courage C30 after an accident, and in 1994, she was unclassified again, in a Porsche, in 22nd place.

At the same time, she did secure some successes in other events. She was seventh in the 1992 Suzuka 1000km, the second of her thirteen runs in the Japanese classic. Again, she was driving the Chamberlain Spice, and her co-drivers were Divina Galica and Jun Harada.

Chamberlain gave her another drive in the Suzuka 1000km in 1993, in a Lotus Esprit, but she did not finish due to the car overheating. She and her team-mates had qualified eleventh. Earlier in the year, she had raced a Tom Gloy Racing Ford Mustang in the Daytona 24 Hours. This was another mixed team, with Desiré Wilson, Ron Fellows and Peter Baljet. They were classified 47th, but did not finish.

In 1994, she had a run in the Suzuka 1000km in a Ferrari F40, with Anders Olofsson and Luciano della Noce. They were disqualified for an illegal overtaking manoeuvre.

1995 saw her have a final chance at Le Mans, driving a Toyota-engined SARD MC8-R with Kenny Acheson and Alain Ferté. However, it was not to be. Tomiko did not qualify, and as in 1991, the team did not last long anyway, succumbing to clutch failure after 14 laps. Unfortunately, the Suzuka 1000km went the same way. Tomiko was listed as a driver alongside Fabien Giroix and Jean-Denis Delétraz, but did not make the start. The team also did not finish.

After that, she did not race in Europe again. She continued to make appearances in the Suzuka 1000km, driving for a number of teams, including Roock Racing in 1996 and 1999, in Porsches both times. Other cars she raced included another McLaren F1 (1997) and a Nissan Skyline (2002 and 2003).

Her best result in this race was ninth, which she achieved in 2004, driving a Porsche 996 for the Arktech team. Her team-mates were Shigemitsu Haga and Tamon Saitou.

She retired from motorsport in 2005. Language barriers have prevented more detailed research about Tomiko’s life and career.

(Image from