In a sport dominated by men and demanding courage, fitness, driving skills and plenty of 'bottle' it is refreshing when members of the fairer sex take to the tracks and do well. Knowledgeable fans know that piloting an F1 stock car in a crowded race is no mean feat and the driver deserves their admiration.
The First Lady of stock car racing was 38 Tanya Crouch. She was the winner of the first ever Final at the old Belle Vue stadium in Manchester in 1954 and she won one other Final at Eastbourne in 1955. Here is a picture of my model of her Bandbox sponsored car:
Arguably, the most successful female driver to date has to be 309 Jayne Bean from Stockport, Cheshire with six Final victories. She first appeared on track in 1985 and won her first Final at Northampton in 1990 and another, again at Northampton, in 1991. In 1992 she won Finals at Hednesford, Buxton and two at Birmingham.
Deservedly, she was known as BriSCA's Premier Lady. Never frightened to use the front bumper, who could ever forget her battles with 422 Nigel Whorton. Jayne retired at the end of 1992 but in 2003 raced at Coventry in the annual Veterans Race and won it. Her name can also be seen on the wing of World Champion 390/1 Stu Smith Jnr as one of his sponsors. Below is a picture of my model of Jayne's 1991 A J Baker Grinding sponsored car:
Another lady driver who tasted success was 24 Lisa Harter who went on to marry 391 Andy Smith. Lisa raced from 1992 to 1997 and had two Final wins both at Coventry.
The German driver H31 Sabine Rode was always a welcome visitor to UK tracks and was a successful racer on Dutch tracks, winning at least one Final in her career. (Sadly she passed away in November 2014.)
More recently we have seen 54 Hayley Parkinson winning her first race and hopefully there will be more to follow.