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#51 David McKinney

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Posted 11 February 2001 - 15:36

Jean Denton's recent passing was noted in the 'husbands and wives' thread.
Louise Aitken-Walker was always described as a shepherdess, I thought. Gwyndaf Evans (of the male persuasion) was - is? - a schoolbus driver in Wales. But I don't know about any milk deliveries....

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#52 fines

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Posted 11 February 2001 - 16:31

Wonder if Gwyndaf ever carried any of Barry Boor's pupils? Then again, I don't know what I would think if my own children would be carried to school by a rallye driver!? There must be some anguished thoughts amongst Welsh parents at times...

#53 Barry Lake

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Posted 12 February 2001 - 15:07

Louise Aitken-Walker lives in Scotland.

Once I was on a Jaguar release drive in England and made a detour to go to the Jim Clark Museum in Duns. It had to be a quick visit before they discovered I was missing.
While there I phoned Andrew Cowan, who I know from many rallies from right back to Southern Cross Rally 1969, and he invited me to his home. I said I didn't have time, so he drove out to meet me at a road junction on the shortest route from Duns back to the route I was supposed to be on.
As we stood on the side of the road, having a drink, he told me of how he and Jim Clark used to drive the road I was crossing to go to (Glasgow?) to dances. They used to race back home. "This is a third gear corner," he said, "And you use a little bit of the grass on the apex just there...".
Andrew said he believed it was the challenging roads in the area that bred good drivers. He added, "You just drove past Louise Aitken-Walker's place - back up the road a bit. She learned to drive on these roads also."

I had the pleasure of meeting Mercedes Stermitz when she raced at Bathurst. I was impressed that a lady so attractive and also a factory racing driver was so unpretentious.
A year or so later I bumped into her at the top of an escalator at the Frankfurt Motor Show and spent some more time speaking with her.
Perhaps it was Bathurst the following year, I was talking to a German driver (can't for the life of me remember at the moment who it was - a look through the entry lists would jog the memory) and somehow she came into the conversation (something about drivers new to Bathurst struggling to come to grips with it).
I said to him that I thought Mercedes was a very nice lady. He gave me a funny look and was smiling, almost stifling a laugh. I asked him what was funny about my saying that, but he wouldn't tell me. I never have figured it out.


#54 Barry Lake

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Posted 12 February 2001 - 15:14

Something else I just remembered about Mercedes Stermitz.
She was telling me how much she loved motor racing, and all that went with it - travel etc. I asked her what if it all came to an end. What would she do for a living then?
She told me, "I have never thought about that. I couldn't bear to think about what life would be like without motor racing. To me that's just unimaginable."
Not long after that, she vanished from the entry lists and I have never heard of her again - until this thread on Atlas F1.

#55 Barry Lake

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Posted 12 February 2001 - 15:25

Uh oh! Here I go posting three in a row again. That's because the rest of the world is asleep right now.

Thinking on the above stories, I realised that it was on that same Jaguar trip, in fact I think it was the same day, at a grand lunch with hundreds of people present, I was sat beside a not-so-young lady who obviously had a lot of class.
When we got to talking, she said her name was Jean Denton. She was surprised and impressed to learn that someone from "Down Under" knew of her and her driving career.
A very nice lady indeed.

#56 Darren Galpin

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Posted 12 February 2001 - 15:31

There is an impressive American lady driver by the name of Danica Patrick who finished second in last years Formula Ford festival at Brands Hatch.

#57 Rob29

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Posted 12 February 2001 - 17:24

Barry,re,Mercedes Stermitz,the Bathurst race you mentioned was about '88 I think when it was part of the World TC Championship.She was still racing in '92.Last event I have her taking part in was the non-championship F3000 race in Buenos Aires.
I last saw her about Dec 92 on a German TV quizz show(a version of "A Question of Sport"

#58 dbw

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Posted 12 February 2001 - 17:36

so..let's see...gwenda stewart[derby-miller at brooklands and one eyed husband]] and gwenda hawkes[morgan three wheeler with tied down throttle and speed record] are the same person???? ...quite a gal!!!!

#59 Yves

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Posted 12 February 2001 - 17:42

I really think that more more ladies will have success in motor racing because it's the way the history is going ("le sens de l'histoire").
Modern children education is less an less sex oriented and at least in non muslin countries, the culture pressure is going away.
It is only on the highest categories that physical limits could be a problem for women : accelaration of 4G and more of F1 cars is probably something that need a medical attention before starting a GP but they are already ladies as fighter pilots in many Air Forces (I remember they are a (very) few in the french army) and also astronaut candidates that follow the full training.
So wait and see, but i'm sure we will see more and more ladies and some days in F1 also.
But for the past, I agree with Rob, Elisabeth Junek performance at the Targa Florio is the woman performance that impress me the most. Hum... very close to Michèle Mouton rallying career and of course Pat Moss a few years before...

Y.


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#60 dbw

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Posted 12 February 2001 - 17:57

when i get a moment[i don't have one now..i'm at work..gacck!]i'll post an account of junek's heroic targa performance...knowing the machinery and looking at the course,it would be difficult for me to imagine a finer moment for any woman driver..past or present.

#61 Jaxs

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Posted 12 February 2001 - 19:52

Christabell Carlyle, Mini racer,very good too, Jenny Tudor Owen, saloon?
Davina Gallica, F3000. there was another female about the same time as DG, can't remember the name,

Thank you for the correction on LAW.

Regards

Jack.

#62 fines

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Posted 12 February 2001 - 21:09

Well, Lella Lombardi, Divina Galica (how do you pronounce that?) and Desiré Wilson were all promoted by John Webb and his MCD in British F5000 and F1 in the seventies.

#63 David McKinney

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Posted 12 February 2001 - 22:09

Not sure if I'm on the right thread here...
She calls it Daveena Galitsa, with the stress on the second syllable in both cases

#64 fines

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Posted 12 February 2001 - 22:16

Thank you David! I was always pronouncing it like "Divine-a Gal-like-a"; did sound funny to me! :lol:

#65 Allen Brown

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Posted 12 February 2001 - 23:05

After all this education, could we do one of those poll thingies to decide our top woman driver of all time?

Or is that a silly idea?

Allen

PS Davina Galica was British ski champion before going motor racing. She also later proved the biggest thug - even possibly the winner - on an all-women Sporting Superperson TV show some year later.

#66 David McKinney

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Posted 13 February 2001 - 06:23

I can think of only one woman who has ever competed against the best men of her time on equal terms, and that was Mme Junek - albeit only on one circuit, and that one which she knew intimately.
If rallying is included, Pat Moss and Michele Mouton were both able to compete against the best in the world in their respective eras

#67 Yves

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Posted 13 February 2001 - 08:03

Just to moderate my own admiration for Elisabeth Junek performance and to try to be "objective", hum ...
At that time and with the cars in competition, the Bugatti, the Tara Florio in 1928 was perhaps closer to a modern rallye as a F1 GP but on the other hand, probably the best drivers and the fastest sports cars were competing.
What makes Junek's performance unforgetable is that she was opposed to magic names and she was ahead of the great drivers of the time : Campari, Divo and if I remember well other magic names as Nuvolari and Chiron, many of them on the same car (Bugatti T35 ?).
The supercharged Audi Quattro that Michèle Mouton drive during her most successfull years had not the reputation to be "easier" to drive as the Bugatti and the pilots she was opposed to were not amateurs in any sense of the word and her achievements are at least of the same level. Michèle has also been at the top longer as Elisabeth ...
But the fact Junek retired at the death of her husband (could be because she was out of money ...) had a flavor of romantism to her story.
So, after analysis, Michèle Mouton is probably the best feminin palmares (I hate the word female, it's really a hard word on french, used for animals) but I probably have a preference for Elisabeth Junek ...
In a very different area, perhaps you remember the estonishing performance of Françoise Arthaud who won a boat race across the Atlantic against all the best sailor ?

Y.

#68 Darren Galpin

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Posted 13 February 2001 - 08:11

I always though that Davina's finest moment was in British Touring cars in the late 1980s when racing a BMW M3 at the same time as Jonathan Palmer. Palmer contrived to hit her and take both of them off into the gravel. Davina rapidly climbed out of her car, stormed over to Palmer, who was still strapped in, opened the drivers door and gave him vast amounts of verbal abuse. When finished, she slammed the door shut again (Palmer hadn't dared move), and stormed off, to the cheers of the appreciative crowd.

#69 dbw

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Posted 13 February 2001 - 08:21

madame junek won the 2 liter class in the german grand prix ,1927[t35c].....in the 1927 targa she ran a t35b-2.3 liter supercharged..quite a handful to be sure...she was running third at the end of the first lap but retired..the winning time was7 hrs,36 min...figure out the stamina needed!
in 1928 she actually led the race on lap 4,her car's water pump faltered and she finished 5th behind chiron's 4th... only 9 minutes separated the first 5 cars at the finish..the winners time was 7hrs,20 min.....conway;"many authorities consider junek's performance in this race...to be the finest exploit ever made by a woman racing driver."i agree..



hey!! how about brother and sister drivers??here's a chance to get obscure...

#70 FlagMan

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Posted 13 February 2001 - 11:23

Darren - I think it was Nette Lingren (spelling ?) rather than Davina Galicia that put the s***s up Mr Palmer - the Russel gravel trap at Snetterton if I recall correctly.

#71 Leif Snellman

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Posted 13 February 2001 - 12:44

Ewy Rosqvist-von Korff, a Swedish Mercedes-Benz driver was the overall winner of the 1962 Argentine Rally. Carlos Menditeguy led the M-B team but had to retire. There were five or six Mercedes cars, one of them had a fatal accident if I remember correctly. Their main rival at the rally was Oscar Galvez.
Here is a picture of Ewy Rosqvist in Helsinki 1992.
Question: Can anyone recognize the passenger?

Posted Image


#72 Darren Galpin

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Posted 13 February 2001 - 12:47

Stig Blomqvist

#73 Leif Snellman

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Posted 13 February 2001 - 12:52

Originally posted by Darren Galpin
Stig Blomqvist


No, better up :)

#74 Patrick Italiano

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Posted 13 February 2001 - 13:29

From the Alfa world, there are other feminine drivers worth remembering.

I have no picture at hand, and I go by memory.

Donna Maria Antonietta Avanzo was a rather successful driver in the late '10s early '20s. Just found on the net that she was third on a 20/30 ES at the Grand Prix gentleman, Brescia 1921 and DNF with the same car at the 1922 Targa Florio.

Lella Lombardi and Ada Pace have already been mentioned before - Lella won European Touring car Championship on a GTV6 in 1984 or 1985.

In 1991, Alfa put together a feminine team for the italian production cars championship (group N) with Alfa 33 16V. Three young drivers composed the team: Romana Bernardoni, Alexandra Gallo and Tamar Vidali. Tamara won the feminine and the under-25 titles in 1991, and overall group N title in 1992. She was / is pretty nice :). She later drove 155s and eventually Audis. Romana Bernardoni is still an Alfa driver, last year in the Euro STC and this one in the new FIA international championship.



#75 Falcadore

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Posted 13 February 2001 - 14:31

Brothers and sisters? Pat and Stirling Moss. Impossible to find any pair better.

Lief,
In a open-top Mercedes? There used to be this five times world champion who owned a bucket load of Mercedes dealerships in Argentina....

Rob29,
Mercedes Stermitz visited Bathurst in 1987 part of the six car strong factory BMW squad which included 4 cars from german Schnitzer team, 1 each from the italian Bigazzi and CiBeEmme teams, under the overall command of Peter Flohr.

The drivers were the likes of Roberto Ravaglia, Johnny Cecotto, Emanuelle Pirro, poor poor Roland Ratzenberger, Olivier Grouillard, Altfrid Heger, Gianfranco Brancatelli, Winni Vogt, Juan Manuel Fangio II, Gary Brabham, Markus Oestrich, and the ladies car of Annette Meuvissen and Mercedes Stermitz.

Barry & Ray - you were there, and on the inside, so you probly know the story better....

There's a fascinating story from qualifying at Bathurst '87. Stermitz crashed her Beemer at Forrest Elbow on the descent down the mountain. She'd locked up and gone in hard on the sharply descending corner at the top of Conrod straight. The car was stuffed. Schnitzer head Charly Lamm wanted to throw the car away. The Daily Telegraph ran a headline "Mercedes Bends BMW"

One of the remarkable things about Bathurst is the TAFE Smash Repair School. One day in the early 80's a former racer, and IIRC TAFE lecturer by the name of Tony Warrener came up with the idea of taking a bunch of TAFE (Techinical And Further Education) student to Bathurst to offer their services. They took a primitive transportable paint both, set up in one of the sheds over the back and the team of apprentice mechanics, fitter & turners, welders, painters etc then offerred their services for free to any teams who crashed their cars. Over the years the achievements of these incredibly enthusiastic apprentices has become legend. They first came to public limelight during the incredible resurrection of Dick Johnson's 1983 Bathurst campaign, after the violent Hardie Hereos shunt at Forrests Elbow. It's a story for another time though, this post is getting long enough.

The TAFE crew were reluctantly given the Beemer and told Lamm 'we'll let you know'. Lamm didn't give it another thought. He believed he'd never see the car again. Stermitz and Meeuvissen started to pick out spectator points to watch the race from. The crash occurred on thursday morning. it was late afternoon before the TAFE crew received the badly mangled car. 8:45 am and the team were asked to collect the completed car - it was taking up room needed for other cars. It had even been painted in the correct colours which Lamm believed were internal to BMW and not known outside the company.

Anways, came friday and the ladies car had not quaified. Meuvissen had but Stermitz had not. She had to find four seconds. Bathurst is a big circuit but not that big. With 10 minutes to go in the last qualifying session Stermitz was picked up by Winni Vogt in the Bigazzi car and Vogt 'towed' her around the circuit, initially with the assistance of some of the other Beemers, but finally just Vogt. It worked. Her second last lap just made it. Her last lap was a second quicker. They would start. They didn't finish though. With 45 laps completed Meuvissen stalled the car behind the pace car at Griffins. The car was stuffed, suspected clutch failure but BMW weren't saying.

Pity.[p][Edited by Falcadore on 02-13-2001]

#76 jarama

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Posted 13 February 2001 - 14:39

Originally posted by Leif Snellman

Here is a picture of Ewy Rosqvist in Helsinki 1992.
Question: Can anyone recognize the passenger?

Posted Image


Leif,

Perhaps the Pampa's Bull?

#77 Leif Snellman

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Posted 13 February 2001 - 16:28

Originally posted by jarama
Perhaps the Pampa's Bull? [/B]


Gonzales?
No, but we are getting close now!!
Think about the car :)

#78 Leif Snellman

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Posted 13 February 2001 - 16:36

Originally posted by Falcadore

Leif,
In a open-top Mercedes? There used to be this five times world champion who owned a bucket load of Mercedes dealerships in Argentina....


That's the correct answer! He was to drive the W196 that day but they never managed to start it so...





#79 Jaxs

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Posted 13 February 2001 - 20:25

A selection of names, Bluebell Gibbs, Lorina Downton, but the pride of place must be for the oldest women in Motor racing, Theodora Sibley, drove Formula Ford in 68/9 finished mid range in the championship and she was a grandmother.

Was jenny Birrel mentioned in the husband and wife thread, and a Bessie Haig, or Mrs Montgomery-Burton drove a Riley many years ago, might by a friend of the Chumleys. Or so my historian friend tells me.

Regards

Jack

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#80 Rob29

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Posted 13 February 2001 - 20:28

Think you mean Lorina Boughton,now McLoughlin.

#81 Allen Brown

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Posted 13 February 2001 - 20:38

David and Lorina McLaughlin have both raced F1 cars in the same event - that must be some sort of record.

Allen

#82 Graham Clayton

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Posted 13 February 2001 - 20:43

If we are to do a poll for the best woman driver,
Michele Mouton is my pick.
Anyone who could keep one of those twitchy 600+
horsepower 4WD Audi Quattros pointed in a relatively
straight line and out of the trees gets my vote!

#83 Paul Medici

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Posted 18 February 2001 - 14:03

dbw
Add Denise McCluggage (USA) to the list.
Did LeMans in a Ferrari SWB and drove OSCAs for NART. Maybe someone else can add more to her racing backround.
She is also an accomplished motorsports journalist and author. Wrote the text for the book AMERICAN RACING with Tom Burnside and a book on her racing experiences.
Regards,PM

#84 Barry Lake

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Posted 18 February 2001 - 17:50

A large part of Madame Junek's success in the Targa Florio was that she spent an incredible amount of time getting to know the ciruit intimately (and full marks for that).
I think that in terms of going head-to-head with the men with no favours given nor asked for, Michelle Mouton looks to be the most competitive.
She just did it again in a London to Sydney Marathon recently. I wanted to go to the finish so I could meet her, but was too busy at the time.

There are some other good women drivers come to mind. In the 1977 London to Sydney Marathon there were a few. Christine Dacremont, who was involved in a freak collision in Australia and broke her pelvis. Also Marianne Hoepfner, who proved to be an excellent driver, navigator and mechanic, and had a ton of class as well. She finished up living with the French actor Trintignant (is it Jean-Louis) the last I heard of her.
Christine and Marianne drove together at Le Mans on at least one occasion.

Also French, Marie-Claude Beaumont, drove at Le Mans a number of times in Chev Corvettes mostly. She won her class at Bathurst and still takes photographs at F1 races. (Has she been mentioned already?)

Less well known, Susanne Kottulinsky, daughter of F3 veteran Freddy Kottulinsky, who rallied Volvos in Sweden and possibly some events outside of Sweden.
I rode with her on a rally stage in a forest in Sweden once - incredibly smooth and with greater mechanical sympathy than most. She said she wanted to come to Australia and I almost had a drive lined up for her (with me as co-driver) in the Australian Safari, but it all fell through unfortunately.


#85 FLB

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Posted 18 February 2001 - 18:34

Christine Dacremont and Marianne Hoepfner drove together for Inaltéra in the 1976 24 Hours of Le Mans. That project eventually led to Rondeau.

During the race, Mlle Dacremont suffered a problem with a door. If I remember correctly, it opened as she was driving on the Mulsanne at 180mph+. Not a pleasant thing to experience for anyone...

#86 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 22 February 2001 - 17:07

Here are an assortment of attractive lady racers :

Posted Image
Milka Duno (US) / races sportscars in USA

Posted Image
Giovanna Amati (ITA) / also a sportscar racer these days.

Posted Image
Shirley Muldowney (US) / former top-fuel dragracer

Posted Image
Sarah Kavanagh (IRL) / Races F1-cars in the British BOSS formula.



Rainer

#87 Jimmy Piget

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Posted 08 July 2002 - 07:00

"Hellé-Nice" (born Mariette Hélène Delangle) was the daughter of a Postman in a small town of Normandie. She became a dancer in Paris (Casino de Paris) but suffered concussions in a ski accident which forbid her to resume dancing. So she got into motorsport, racing a Bugatti then an Alfa Monza in GP races of the '1930s (with a lot of financial & technical help from her lovers — Philippe de Rothschild, Guy Moll, Jack Dunfee...) She also drove (1936 ?) at American speedway races (non AAA races).
Then, there was a tragic crash in Brazil 1936 when she collided with Manuel de Teffé and her car get into the crowd killing people. She survived but never resumed her GP carreer, although she participated (circa 1938, archives not checked) in a successful record attempt with the Matford (Mathis & Ford) and in a one-make Touring car series in 1939.
She is said to have gone to Brazil during WWII, where she opened a brothel (!!! — who knows more ?)
Back to France, she died in 1984 in a very poor condition of health & money.

Incidentally, when she was in Brazil, she became a kind of local feminist hero because of her free behaviour. In such a way that her pseudonym was largely used as a forename for baby girls : Ellenice or Hellenice. Still today, if you make a Google research for "Helle-Nice", you can notice that a Brazilian ministress is such named.

#88 Darren Galpin

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Posted 08 July 2002 - 07:08

I must get my eyes tested. I read the last sentence and was sure I read mistress the first time...... Might be no difference in the interpretation there mind you!

#89 Jimmy Piget

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Posted 08 July 2002 - 08:10

Dear Garren, don't you know that Uncle Sigmund wrote strange things on this kind of lapsus...

#90 Darren Galpin

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Posted 08 July 2002 - 08:13

I am aware of his treatises, yes......

#91 paulhooft

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Posted 08 July 2002 - 18:29

I have not heard about Pat Moss Sister of the great Sir Stirling, for a long time..
Can anyone tell more?
Is she still in Sweden??
Paul

#92 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 08 July 2002 - 21:40

Originally posted by Jimmy Piget
"Hellé-Nice" .......She is said to have gone to Brazil during WWII, where she opened a brothel (!!! — who knows more ?).....

Not about brothels, but.....
.....about her São Paulo crash I found an account in the Allgemeine Automobil Zeitung, Berlin, 1936, No.33, pg. 16 ".....The clock pointed towards 12. The race neared the end. Then, roaring applause surged: the Italian Pintacuda raced as first through the finish. His countryman Marinoni followed him. Further back lay the Brazilian Manoel de Teffé and behind him the 25-year old French woman sport driver Hellé-Nice. Just when both had gained the first victory, the crowd started to become restless and pushed at some places across the barriers onto the track. But that was not all. Just at the moment when the third, Brazilian Teffé, neared the finish, one of the spectators, a soldier, who until now had sat on a hay-bale, jumped into the racetrack and dragged the hay-bale with him. At the same moment, Hellé-Nice came racing down at 150 km/h. She braked, but could not avoid the sudden obstacle and ran over the soldier, who died soon thereafter. But this was only the beginning of the horrible disaster. The car started to skid and raced in wild rebounds along the spectators. The young woman driver was flung out high through the air into the crowd of people and owed her life only through this circumstance. The driverless car on the other hand threw the nearest standing to the ground, ran them over, ripped from them arms and legs and behaved as if it was frantic. Shortly after the finish line it came to a standstill. Five People were immediately dead, while 35 partly serious and partly light injured were brought into the hospitals. At the very onset it was believed that the daring woman driver had become a victim of the accident. First telegrams declared her dead, but she was only unconscious and had solely received some injuries. After 24 hours she regained consciousness, but could not remember the accident. Her condition today is not one to be concerned....."

#93 Jimmy Piget

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Posted 09 July 2002 - 05:51

Thanks for the article, Hans.

Just a note : she was not "25" at the time, but 36 (born 1900).

A further information about her late years : she survived and escape for true misery thankfully of an association, "la roue tourne", which is a kind of NGO helping ancient artists (from theatre, cinema, music-hall) who paid her the monthly bill of a small flat in Nice and a small amount of money to get some food.

The other question about her is the meaning of her pseudonym.
"Nice" looked obvious only at first glance (that's where she died), but when she wore that name as a dancer, she was a Parisian !
"Hellé" is the name of a second-rate Greek goddess, and was yet used as a pseudonym by another music-hall lady of the '1890s-'1900s.
Some people (this is yet mentioned by Paul Sheldon, with the help of Yves de la Gorce & J-M Gigleux) wonder if there could be a bilingual phonetic joke reading : "Elle est" (she is) nice, the last word in English. Who knows ?

#94 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 09 July 2002 - 08:59

Jimmy, here are two other threads about "Hellé-Nice".
http://www.atlasf1.c...=Mlle HelleNice
http://www.atlasf1.c...ice crash photo
I will send you also an old copy of the thread, which contains two missing pictures of her. :)

#95 Rob29

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Posted 09 July 2002 - 10:51

Any chance of simlar detailed biography of Anne-Cecile Rose-Itier,another promising French lady of the same period?

#96 Jonathan

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Posted 09 July 2002 - 11:09

Does anyone remember Kathy Rude ?
(She got banged up pretty bad driving a Porsche GT class car about twenty years ago).

#97 Paul Hartshorne

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Posted 09 July 2002 - 19:35

She retired from racing after her big sportscar crash, but later drove a pace car for either CART or the Indy 500.
She was married to Ludwig Heimrath jnr, and maybe still is.

Anyone know what happened to German ex-F3 and Gebhardt sportscar ace Beate Nodes?

Paul

#98 Jimmy Piget

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Posted 09 July 2002 - 20:25

About Anne-Cécile Rose-Itier ("Rose" was not a first name but the surname of her husband), there is a biography in the Maurice Louche book on the 100 "best" French drivers.

#99 Carlos Jalife

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Posted 10 July 2002 - 17:56

In México there is a lady racer, who has been twice champion in the trucks (Tractors) division, 2000 and 2001 although now she rans only in the Dodge Pick Ups and Mustangs categories, her name is Mara Reyes and she is 25, married, already has a daughter about 6 years old and she has been driving since 14 in touring championships here in Mexico. She was fifth in the championship of Mustangs last year and she ran the preliminary at the Monterrey GP in CART.

By the way talking about CART, I didn't get why they should stop using the Champ Cars name -the Indy Cars is fine since they don't run at Indy- ; and about the IRL being competitive, well yes as much as the VW Eurovan series in Mexico which had 20+ cars in the grid every race and they all crashed and finished in the same lap, but their drivers were mostly cab drivers and normal people recruited for the race. I mean, who was produced by the IRL? Sam? no, he's Atlantic. Buddy, Greg, etc? CART rejects. Thomas? F3 and Jaguar Racing, Felipe and Airton? Sorry, Indy Lights. Even sarah had to run for a CART team (Walker). And let's say that Indy 500 was meaningless until the CART teams came back, unless of course you think Buddy's victory was real neat in 1996, and whomever won later.
Yes they are competitive but they are frustrating, just listen to them hit the rev limiters everytime they have a bit of track available, and watching them go round in circles (under yellow mostly last weekend) is sooooo booooring. Well CART might have won the PR race but the IRL certainly is no racing. Tony George has a lot of money and that doesn't make him intelligent at all, or even simpatico, he's just a big bully with money and power who subsidizes the whole IRL. He can get Toyota and Honda (Illmor) but he could get zillions of people with those crappy engines he runs, hell there are several mechanics here in mexico who can make those engines and there's probably thousands in the US who can too. And racing just in ovals is like so American, "we rule the world and either the world adapts or we'll ignore it" and yes, they have lots of americans winning their races, mostly Americans from South America, like Helio and Gil and Airton, so their goal of bringing up the US drivers through the ranks is nowhere near , and even AJ Foyt uses foreigners (Kenny, Eliseo, Airton, etc) althugh we'll have AJ IV soon. If the IRL is so good how come nobody watches them and even Indy was not full this year (you could buy tickets, plenty, 10 minutes before the race as a few friends of mine did). Hate to contradict my fine friends but I think IRL stands for Indy, Really Lousy. Thanks Tony!

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#100 O Volante

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Posted 10 July 2002 - 20:15

Can't resist - apparently the news about Christina Orr from New Zealand has not yet spread to this thread!

All readers of our dear eternal Amon thread already know: Christina edged out all male competitors to win the 2001/02 Steel Trophy, for the most promizing New Zealand driver under 21! More can be expected for next season: after racing this year in Formula First (nee Formula Vee), the country's junior class, she will move in 2002/03 to New Zealand Formula Ford!

What's so exciting about that? She's only 14 (born on 2 November 1987, at Tauranga, according to "New Zealand SpeedSport", April 2002, p. 64) - but apparently waiting impatiently to be 16 and therefore allowed to race also internationally in Australia! Watch out!