Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Sue Ransom


Sue with Lella Lombardi

Sue Ransom mainly raced saloons in Australia, in the 1970s and 1980s. She drove a variety of cars and entered the Bathurst 1000 five times between 1973 and 1980.

Her earliest big races seem to be in 1973, in an Alfa Romeo GTV 2000. She drove this car at Bathurst, then running as the Hardie-Ferrodo 1000, sharing with Christine Gibson. They did not finish. The same pairing drove in the Phillip Island 500, but did not finish there either.

The Australian touring car scene in the 1970s is not particularly well-documented. Sue does not appear to have entered the Bathurst 1000 in 1974, but she was eleventh in 1975. Her car was a Ford Escort RS2000, run by Jubilee Motors and shared with Bill Brown.

She was fifth in the Australian Supercar Championship in 1978, driving a Ford Capri. Her best finish was seventh, at Waneroo, and she was second in the under 3000cc class. This was one of four top-ten finishes, from seven starts.

In between, she had driven the Capri at Bathurst in 1977 with Russell Skaife. They just finished the race, but were unclassified.

During the 1980s, she moved more into drag racing, and even raced a jet car in 1981 and 1982. At the time, she was the only woman to do so. She still holds the outright speed record at the Tasmania Dragway in this car. A little later, she tried her luck in the USA and competed in NHRA Top Fuel events.

However, she did make one return to the circuits and teamed up with Cathy Muller and Margie Smith-Haas for the World Endurance Championship race at Sandown Park in 1984. They drove a BMW-engined Gebhardt JC843, but retired early on, due to suspension failure.   

She continued in drag racing for a while. After her retirement from active competition, she remained involved in motorsport for many years.

(Image from http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au)

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