Friday, 6 April 2018

Female Saloon Racers from Thailand

Tachapan Vijittranon

Thai female drivers have made significant inroads into their national saloon racing scene in recent years. Most are active in the Thailand Super Series. A manufacturer-supported women-only one-make series for the Toyota Vios provides a way in for a few. Thai racers Nattanid Leewatanavalagul and Tachapan Vijittranon are now competing abroad too.

Tanchanok Charoensukhawatana - has won the Toyota Vios Lady Cup in Thailand at least twice. She has been one of its leading drivers for several years. In 2019, she moved into the main Vios Cup. She began racing in 2013 in the Lotus Greater China series and became the first woman to earn a pole position at the Macau street circuit in a mixed race. She later raced in the Lotus Asia Cup alongside her father, Nattavude, in 2014. It appears that she raced a Toyota Yaris in the Super Eco class of the Thailand Super Series at some point, but language barriers mean that details of this are not clear. She has also raced a Toyota GT86 in Japan.

Phattaraporn Chongkitkhemmathat - raced a Honda City in the Super Production class of the Thailand Super Series in 2016. She was fifth in Class C, with two third places. This appears to be her only season in the championship. Previously, she raced a Toyota Vios in a one-make series in 2015. That year, she took part in a six-hour enduro in the car at Bangsaen.  

Panicha Dokchan - Thai racer who competes in the Special AWD and Super Turbo series in her home country. She drives for the Luknut World Pumps team. She has been racing since at least 2017 and has contested the support races for the Buriram 6 Hours at least twice. In the Super Turbo championship, her car is a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8. She races in the Division 1 class, although she did not contest all the rounds in 2018. Panicha sometimes uses the name “Elle”.

Nattanid Leewatanavalagul (Kat Lee) - Thai racer who competes in one-makes and touring cars in Southeast Asia. She was third in the Thailand TCR Championship in 2017, driving a SEAT Leon. She won one race at Bangsaen, and scored four second and two third places. This followed two seasons in the Thailand Super Series, driving a Honda Jazz for Morin Racing. She won class C in 2015. Her earliest experiences of motorsport appear to be in a women-only series for the Toyota Vios in 2014. She entered the Chinese Mini Challenge in and did some rounds of the Asian TCR series in 2018. Her best result in TCR was a second place at Bangsaen, driving a SEAT Leon.

Yotha Pavinee - raced in the Super Eco class of the Thailand Super Series. She was sixth in the 2017 championship, driving a Honda Brio. Her best overall finish was a ninth place at Buriram. In 2018, she stayed with the Thai Super Series but moved into the Super Compact class, driving a Honda Jazz for Morseng Racing.  

Tachapan Vijittranon (Ploy) - Thai driver who raced in the Finnish touring car championship in 2017. Her car was a Mini. She had a best finish of second at Parnu from the six rounds that she entered, and she was eleventh in the championship. This was her first foray into European competition, although she has been active in Thai racing since she was 14, in 2012. Her first car was a Honda Jazz. In 2016, she was picked up by a women’s motorsport initiative run by Mazda, and drove a Mazda2 in the Thailand Super Series. She was racing in the Super Compact class and averaged a fourth-place finish throughout the year. It was her second season with the car.

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