Jump to content


Photo

Women drivers!


  • Please log in to reply
924 replies to this topic

#101 Yves

Yves
  • Member

  • 183 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 12 August 2002 - 10:09

Just to note a great performance of Sarah Fisher this weekend :

She got the pole-position at Sparta in IRL.

Is this the very first pole position for a lady at this level of motor racing ?

She is at least probably the fastest woman on a track : 356,217 km/h ...

I remember of Mrs Hellé-Nice being on first line on the grid of the Avus-Rennen in 1934 but the position were given after a ballot at that time ...

Y.

Advertisement

#102 Frank de Jong

Frank de Jong
  • Member

  • 1,803 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 12 August 2002 - 11:02

Originally posted by Paul Medici
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


Denise raced a few times in the Europ[ean Touring Car Championship in the 60's.

#103 Frank de Jong

Frank de Jong
  • Member

  • 1,803 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 12 August 2002 - 11:11

By the way, we should include capable Belgian woman racers "Christine" Beckers and Yvette Fontaine. Many touring car races, often in works cars.
Henny Hemmes, touring car driver as well, known for her Spa outings in the Camaro. Won poles and races in the Netherlands.
Jacky Ickx's daughter Vanina.
Anna Cambiaghi, Italy, raced with Lombardi.


#104 Haddock

Haddock
  • Member

  • 917 posts
  • Joined: November 01

Posted 12 August 2002 - 18:26

In a week when Justin Wilson missed out on a Minardi drive owing to his height and it seems the trend design wise is to go for ever smaller race drivers, a thought occurred to me regarding Sarah Fisher.

Did a quick look-up on the IRL website which confirmed what I suspected....she's about 4 inches smaller and 30lbs lighter than anybody else on the grid. Now what an F1 designer would not give for a such a driver. Not even Alain Prost was 5'1" after all....and having another 20-30 lbs of movable ballast to put as low as possible in the car wouldn't half be handy either.

Given that women are on average smaller and lighter than men, in some ways it surprises me that there haven't been more successful female racing drivers. My ex-girlfriend, who had a background in psychology said its probably got something to do with men having better spatial abilities and, on average, slightly better visual acuity. Who knows.

Yves: To my knowledge, no woman has qualified on pole for a major-league single seater race ever before. Of course, one could take the view that IRL isn't really a major league formula and all the best drivers are in Champ Cars, but all the same, she was ahead of Scott Goodyear and Gil De Ferran who are hardly journeymen.

On a vaguely related note, I saw a book called, I think "Lady Racers" in Waterstones last weekend (odd, because on the whole, Waterstones seems unable to get beyond books about Jenson Button and Murray Walker) Anyone know if its worth a read ?

#105 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 23,382 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 12 August 2002 - 18:39

Originally posted by Haddock
On a vaguely related note, I saw a book called, I think "Lady Racers" in Waterstones last weekend (odd, because on the whole, Waterstones seems unable to get beyond books about Jenson Button and Murray Walker) Anyone know if its worth a read ?


According to a friend who was reviewing it - definitely not! It appears to be a complete (and second-rate) rip-off of Sammy Davis' book from the 50s - even to the point that it includes no more recent drivers!

However, it's probably cheaper than the Davis book, but I dare say it will be on the remainder tables shortly and even cheaper!

#106 thornwell

thornwell
  • Member

  • 192 posts
  • Joined: May 01

Posted 12 August 2002 - 18:54

and don't forget Lynn St. James.

#107 Frank de Jong

Frank de Jong
  • Member

  • 1,803 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 12 August 2002 - 19:32

Originally posted by Haddock
In a week when Justin Wilson missed out on a Minardi drive owing to his height and it seems the trend design wise is to go for ever smaller race drivers, a thought occurred to me regarding Sarah Fisher.

Did a quick look-up on the IRL website which confirmed what I suspected....she's about 4 inches smaller and 30lbs lighter than anybody else on the grid. Now what an F1 designer would not give for a such a driver. Not even Alain Prost was 5'1" after all....and having another 20-30 lbs of movable ballast to put as low as possible in the car wouldn't half be handy either.

Given that women are on average smaller and lighter than men, in some ways it surprises me that there haven't been more successful female racing drivers.


On the other hand, the center of gravity of females might be less favourable compared to males. Taken into consideration the amount of money spent on moving a crankshaft or brake calipers a few mm lower, I doubt if a girl could ever be succesful these days.

#108 Bladrian

Bladrian
  • Member

  • 1,491 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 12 August 2002 - 20:14

:cool:

I wouldn't be a true South African if I didn't draw attention to Desire Wilson, a locally born gal. Lives in the States now, I believe. Started her racing career in Formula Vees in South Africa - and still the only woman ever to WIN a Formula One race! (albeit a non-championship one - 1980, Brands Hatch, Aurora FX F1 series)

At last count, Des has raced over 80 different types of race cars. F1, WSC, CART, .... you name it, the lady's raced it. And a bit of a looker with it, as well. ;)

#109 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,224 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 12 August 2002 - 20:21

Dezzie won a World Championship sports car round too, Round 5 of the 1980 series, the Silverstone 6-Hours, co-driving with Alain de Cadanet in the De Cadanet-Lola LM. Given the cars, she, Yvette Fontaine and Michele Mouton each proved themselves eminently competitive against very capable mere men.

DCN

#110 Ian McKean

Ian McKean
  • Member

  • 480 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 13 August 2002 - 00:02

Originally posted by Frank de Jong


On the other hand, the center of gravity of females might be less favourable compared to males.


Why?

#111 Ade Maritz

Ade Maritz
  • New Member

  • 21 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 13 August 2002 - 06:12

:cool:

I also have to ask 'Why'. There's a big 'but' involved in that statement ..... lol.

#112 Yves

Yves
  • Member

  • 183 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 13 August 2002 - 06:42

My wife, who is also a psychologist ;) would say that male have hormons that make us more agressive in all ways. And motor racing being at some extend a face to face fight, this also could be a disavantage when you see how agressive are some modern drivers ;)

Y.

#113 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,224 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 13 August 2002 - 07:20

As aggressive, perhaps, as was Luigi Fagioli? Or Ed Elisian? Or Roy Salvadori? Or Willy Mairesse? Or.....??????

Little changes....

DCN

#114 Rob29

Rob29
  • Member

  • 3,090 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 13 August 2002 - 08:46

Originally posted by Vitesse2


According to a friend who was reviewing it - definitely not! It appears to be a complete (and second-rate) rip-off of Sammy Davis' book from the 50s - even to the point that it includes no more recent drivers!

However, it's probably cheaper than the Davis book, but I dare say it will be on the remainder tables shortly and even cheaper!

The new book I think you are referring to is called 'Fast Women-The Drivers who changed the face of motor racing' by John Bullock. The only complaint I have is it could do with an index. Has a lot of material not in the Sammy Davis' book.
An American lady is also writing a book and has over 800 names to put in it. British Women Racing Drivers Club is also planning a book to celebrate its jubilee this year.

#115 Rob29

Rob29
  • Member

  • 3,090 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 18 December 2002 - 17:04

Originally posted by Rob29
Re Cheryl Glass I have her recorded as making one apearance in Indy Lights-I read somewhere recently that she was Afro American-can anyone confirm this? Best female in Infy Lights (or F3000) was Cathy Muller,who had a 4th at Long Beach.

Finally found some more info on this person via the american historical site. She raced in sprint cars before her one ARS appearance and seems to be the only black female driver ever. Unfortunately she comitted suicide about 10 years ago.

#116 bill moffat

bill moffat
  • Member

  • 1,407 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 18 December 2002 - 18:18

Gillian Fortescue-Thomas used to be seriously competitive when running in the Escort Mexico series against the likes of Jody Scheckter. Also in British saloons the glamorous Anita Taylor who raced an Anglia.(.I think)...and who was the lady driver who got lost in the Sahara with Mark Thatcher poor thing..

#117 bill moffat

bill moffat
  • Member

  • 1,407 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 18 December 2002 - 18:26

found it..Charlotte Verney , presumably the same lady who ran at Le Mans in the late 70s and early 80's in various Porsches.

#118 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 23,382 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 18 December 2002 - 22:36

Bill - thought you might like to see this pic of Anita .... (can somebody hold fines back please?)

Posted Image :lol: :)

#119 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 19 December 2002 - 11:01

:eek:

:love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love:

:kiss: :kiss: :kiss: :kiss:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Advertisement

#120 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 23,382 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 19 December 2002 - 11:04

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

Think of it as an early Christmas present Michael! :p

#121 2F-001

2F-001
  • Member

  • 2,252 posts
  • Joined: November 01

Posted 19 December 2002 - 11:35

Current issue of Motorsport has a piece by Bill Boddy on ''Brooklands Ladies''.

It has carries their ''Top 20 all-rounders'' which will, doubtless, be the cause of some differences of opinion...

#122 bill moffat

bill moffat
  • Member

  • 1,407 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 19 December 2002 - 11:45

Originally posted by Vitesse2
Bill - thought you might like to see this pic of Anita .... (can somebody hold fines back please?)

Posted Image :lol: :)



#123 bill moffat

bill moffat
  • Member

  • 1,407 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 19 December 2002 - 11:46

ah...now that is the publicity picture that I remember...a fine-looking lady. Not so sure about the Rily Elf though.....

#124 bill moffat

bill moffat
  • Member

  • 1,407 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 19 December 2002 - 12:25

..I had to remind myself of her racing career ..and have thus found the results of the "Motor" 6 Hours at Brands in July 1963.

Fascinating reading..she finished 21st paired with "Mrs. A.Hall" (in the Anglia). But the entry list is scarcely believable..Gurney/Brabham in a Galaxie (they put it on pole), then a wonderful list of so many tin-top and open-wheeled greats...Leston, Salvadori, Salmon, Hulme, Sears, Lindner, Baillie, Rhodes, Whitmore, Amon (in a Sunbeam Rapier!) and so many others. The rallying fraternity also got a look in.. Tom Trana (finished 4th in his Volvo 122 behind a trio of Mk2 Jags), Hopkirk, Aaltonen, Makkinen (paired with Elisabeth Jones). Other lady drivers competing that day were Christabel Carlisle and Denise McCluggage.

Perhaps this is why I'm not too fussed about driving 25 miles up the M20 (to Brands) in order to see a handful of BTCC Astras and MGs knock each others' bumpers off...

#125 David Beard

David Beard
  • Member

  • 4,875 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 19 December 2002 - 13:21

Originally posted by bill moffat
ah...now that is the publicity picture that I remember...a fine-looking lady. Not so sure about the Rily Elf though.....


errr...Kestrel?

(I really shouldn't know things like that.)

#126 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 23,382 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 19 December 2002 - 13:44

Yep - definitely a Kestrel.

#127 bill moffat

bill moffat
  • Member

  • 1,407 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 19 December 2002 - 14:54

with apologies for not knowing my elf from my kestrel (or hornet..)...Thought I might also point out that Anita's brother Trevor was the Lotus FJ/F1 driver whose career progressed through BRP/ JCB Lotus 30/Broadspeed/F5000.

#128 David Beard

David Beard
  • Member

  • 4,875 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 19 December 2002 - 15:36

Originally posted by bill moffat
with apologies for not knowing my elf from my kestrel (or hornet..)...Thought I might also point out that Anita's brother Trevor was the Lotus FJ/F1 driver whose career progressed through BRP/ JCB Lotus 30/Broadspeed/F5000.


And something called an Aurora BMC? Or was that Anita? Or both of them?

#129 rdrcr

rdrcr
  • Member

  • 2,682 posts
  • Joined: June 01

Posted 19 December 2002 - 15:46

I've reviewed this thread and I failed to see the name of Mary Davis. She was one of the Cal Club regulars in the Fifties. The only reason I know of her was, she was just honored at the Peterson Museum.

Mary went on to open the Portofino Inn in Redondo Beach, CA also known for being the infamous finish line for the Gumball Rally and later, was one of the founders of a local bank. Quite a colorful career, no?










P.S. Fines isn't the only one that needs to be held back! :p ;)

#130 bill moffat

bill moffat
  • Member

  • 1,407 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 19 December 2002 - 16:33

Originally posted by David Beard


And something called an Aurora BMC? Or was that Anita? Or both of them?


"Aurora Gear BMC" was the entrant of the Cooper S that A. and T. co-drove during the '64 season.

On another subject Vanina Ickx is mentioned elsewhere in this thread. If she is competing in the Paris Dakar next month could somebody remind the Eurosport commentator that her father is not a "famous Tour de France cyclist".

#131 David Beard

David Beard
  • Member

  • 4,875 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 19 December 2002 - 17:53

Originally posted by bill moffat


"Aurora Gear BMC" was the entrant of the Cooper S that A. and T. co-drove during the '64 season.


Yes, remember that too. But I'm sure there was a little sports car called the Aurora with a mini engine in the rear.

#132 anjakub

anjakub
  • Member

  • 606 posts
  • Joined: October 01

Posted 19 December 2002 - 18:00

Please add famous Polish lady driver Maria Ludwika Kozmian (Kozmianowa).
She successful raced in Twenties and Thirties in Poland and in Europe (Semmering, Klausen, Prix de Berne).

#133 mickj

mickj
  • Member

  • 142 posts
  • Joined: April 02

Posted 20 December 2002 - 06:06

I recall that Trevor Taylor raced an Aurora-BMC sports car similiar in size to a Unipower.

Has anyone pictures of it please.

#134 ian senior

ian senior
  • Member

  • 2,138 posts
  • Joined: September 02

Posted 20 December 2002 - 15:50

Are we allowed to count Roberta Cowell in here?

#135 bill moffat

bill moffat
  • Member

  • 1,407 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 20 December 2002 - 16:12

interesting ! From an anatomical viewpoint probably no, but ultimately her birth certificate was(legally) altered to female..so I suppose the answer has to be yes.

#136 Phil Harms

Phil Harms
  • Member

  • 76 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 20 December 2002 - 17:46

One of the earliest women drivers was Joan Cuneo who drove in the 1908-1909 era. Didn't do too bad driving a Knox "Giant". In New Orleans on Feb 20, 1909 she finished second in a 50 lap/50 mile race which was won by Ralph DePalma in the Fiat Cyclone. George Robertson finished third in the Simplex and Lewis Strang fourth in an Isotta.

From what little I've read about her, I gather she was kinda like auto racing's Amelia Earhart --- supported by a wealthy husband.

Another early woman driver was Elfrieda Mais, who barnstormed with her brother Johnny soon after WW1. Johnny drove at Indpls in 1915.

#137 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,224 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 20 December 2002 - 17:57

Great to hear from Phil Harms here on TNF. If I may say so, you are very welcome here Phil...I'm fairly new to it and have found this to be an extraordinary place for anyone sharing our interest...

DCN

#138 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 20 December 2002 - 18:08

[Yes, fairly new here, just 1700+ posts...]

#139 Barry Lake

Barry Lake
  • Member

  • 2,169 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 21 December 2002 - 02:44

Phil

Your reputation is well known to many of us here. Welcome!

Was there more than one race at New Orleans 21 Feb 1909? I have Bob Burman winning a race that day in a Buick.

Advertisement

#140 eldougo

eldougo
  • Member

  • 6,022 posts
  • Joined: March 02

Posted 21 December 2002 - 03:11

:drunk:

bill moffat .(QUOTE)



interesting ! From an anatomical viewpoint probably no, but ultimately her birth certificate was(legally) altered to female..so I suppose the answer has to be yes.


( WHAT the full story about this lady/man never heard of her /him).. THANKS DOUGO

#141 theunions

theunions
  • Member

  • 638 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 21 December 2002 - 08:02

Originally posted by Paul Hartshorne
Also, does anyone (besides me!) remember American racer Roxie Lott, who made one unforgettable (for the wrong reasons!) appearance in British Formula 3 in 1984 before going back to the U.S. for a crack at the Indy 500?


There was an Open Wheel article about her while she was dabbling in Super Vees and hoping to get to Indy, but she never made the entry list. I have no record of her failing a rookie test in '84-'85 as mentioned above. I believe she married a long-time CART crew member (Newman-Haas transport driver?) who died a few years ago.

What did she do in British F3, other than drive a pink Ralt?

#142 theunions

theunions
  • Member

  • 638 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 21 December 2002 - 08:12

Originally posted by Rob29
Finally found some more info on this person via the american historical site. She raced in sprint cars before her one ARS appearance and seems to be the only black female driver ever. Unfortunately she comitted suicide about 10 years ago.


Cheryl Glass actually ran ARS/Lights thrice: started 9th/finished 7th at Nazareth in '90, then Long Beach and Phoenix the following year.

Apparently she also did some modeling and did interior design.

What are the details of her suicide? All I know is that it happened in Seattle.

#143 theunions

theunions
  • Member

  • 638 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 21 December 2002 - 08:25

Originally posted by Paul Hartshorne
I believe that Ms. Lott did turn up at the Brickyard in '84 or '85, but failed her rookie test. At around the same time there was another female racer called, I believe, Amber Furst who was actually refused a rookie test at Indy!


The latter happened in '83 (#39 Rose Pedal Racing entry). From the Hungness 500 Yearbook:

"Another newcomer to be turned down for lack of experience was Oregon-based road racer Amber Furst, who showed up for the ROP with her former Rolla Vollstedt (1978) Watson-Offy but was denied the chance to participate. USAC officials advised Ms. Furst to attend the Atlanta CART race for additional evaluation, but she failed to do so and was eliminated from May practice."

She WAS on the entry list though. Roxie Lott never was.

Any other info about Amber?

#144 Rob29

Rob29
  • Member

  • 3,090 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 21 December 2002 - 09:18

Originally posted by eldougo
:drunk:

bill moffat .(QUOTE)



interesting ! From an anatomical viewpoint probably no, but ultimately her birth certificate was(legally) altered to female..so I suppose the answer has to be yes.


( WHAT the full story about this lady/man never heard of her /him).. THANKS DOUGO

Robert Cowell I believe was a WW2 RAF pilot who did some racing in late 40s. Was famous for being the first in UK to undergo a sex change. So anatomicaly she IS a woman. She featured in a TV documentary on transexuals recently. BTW only in the last week or so has the law(in UK) been changed so she could change her birth certificate!
I have no record that she ever RACED after the operation,but I have film of her trying a hill climb.

#145 Rob29

Rob29
  • Member

  • 3,090 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 21 December 2002 - 09:21

Originally posted by theunions


There was an Open Wheel article about her while she was dabbling in Super Vees

What did she do in British F3, other than drive a pink Ralt?

Nothing. Any details of what she did in Super Vee?

#146 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 21 December 2002 - 09:50

Originally posted by theunions
"Another newcomer to be turned down for lack of experience was Oregon-based road racer Amber Furst, who showed up for the ROP with her former Rolla Vollstedt (1978) Watson-Offy but was denied the chance to participate. USAC officials advised Ms. Furst to attend the Atlanta CART race for additional evaluation, but she failed to do so and was eliminated from May practice."

OT, but I don't understand this reference. Vollstedt had a pair of his own Ligthning copies, and both the Watsons were owned by Leader Cards! :confused:

#147 theunions

theunions
  • Member

  • 638 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 21 December 2002 - 18:58

Originally posted by fines

OT, but I don't understand this reference. Vollstedt had a pair of his own Ligthning copies, and both the Watsons were owned by Leader Cards! :confused:


That is correct for '78...I'm assuming Rolla subsequently bought one of the Watsons as backup, though off the top of my head I can't recall where/when he would've used it instead of a Vollstedt chassis (maybe outside of Indy?).

I do know there were a number of older Watsons (or just one?) racing in CART later in '83 (I want to say with Tom Bagley, Chip Mead and/or Bob Ward).

#148 theunions

theunions
  • Member

  • 638 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 21 December 2002 - 19:01

Originally posted by Rob29
Any details of what she did in Super Vee?


Off the top of my head, she had a couple of top tens, primarily on ovals - enough to warrant an article. I don't have any yearbooks handy which would give me results. All I recall specifically is that she had UNO sponsorship.

#149 Phil Harms

Phil Harms
  • Member

  • 76 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 21 December 2002 - 20:03

Phil

Was there more than one race at New Orleans 21 Feb 1909? I have Bob Burman winning a race that day in a Buick.

==============

Yes, there were 13 races over a 3 day period:

Feb 20: 50Mi - DePalma + fastest in time trials

Feb 21: 10 Mi - DePalma; Exh 1 lap - DePalma; 100 Mi Burman; 10 Mi - Joan Cuneo; 10 Mi - Robertson

Feb 22: 5 Mi - Burman; 5 Mi - Robertson; 5 Mi - Cuneo; 10 Mi - DePalma; 50 Mi DePalma

Burman drove a Buick, DePalma Fiat Cyclone, Cuneo Jnox Giamt and Robertson Simplex.

Source: Motor Age, Feb 25, 1909

#150 Rainer Nyberg

Rainer Nyberg
  • Member

  • 1,750 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 21 December 2002 - 20:35

Any other info about Amber?


I did actually get in touch with Amber Furst some time ago, and she said she would try to answer any of my questions.....

Still waiting...