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 http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/galcar/Ralt-RT3-Toyota-29317.html)

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