Thursday, 17 May 2018

Carrie Schreiner



Carrie Schreiner started racing GT cars in 2017, after some years of single-seater racing. She won the Pro-Am class of the Middle East Lamborghini Super Trofeo in early 2018.

Carrie is a former karter with two German championships under her belt. She took her first steps in senior motorsport when she tested a Formula 4 car in the UK at the end of 2014, with a view to competing in the Winter Series. She did not take up the drive.

In 2015, she raced in the German ADAC Formula 4 championship. Her best results were two 15th places, at Hockenheim and Oschersleben. She was 44th in the championship, and was the best of the three female drivers taking part this year.

She managed to race in both British and German F4 in 2016, performing much better in the UK. She managed one fourth place, at Thruxton, and two other top-tens, leaving her 17th in the championship. Her team in the UK was Double R Racing.

She struggled in the German series. She only managed to get in the top twenty at Hockenheim, in the last meeting of the season, and was unplaced in the championship.

In 2017, she switched from small single-seaters to big sportscars, spending much of the year racing a Lamborghini Huracan in the European and Asian Super Trofeo. She was second in the Pro division of the Middle East championship, driving for the FFF Lamborghini Squadra Corse with Richard Goddard. Their best overall finishes were two fifth places at Chang.

In the European Trofeo, she drove for Konrad Motorsport, competing in both the Pro and Am classes at different times. Her Pro drives were at Silverstone and yielded a sixth and seventh place. Later, she drove as an amateur in the Nürburgring and Spa rounds, scoring a fifth place in each.

She drove for FFF in the World Finals, and finished ninth and eighth in the Am class, with one fastest lap.

Back home, she also tried out an Audi R8 LMS in the DMV Gran Turismo Touring Car Cup. She was third in her second race at Hockenheim.

For 2018, she switched to the Konrad team for the Middle East Lamborghini Trofeo, driving with Axcil Jeffries who had been her rival in 2017. It was a good partnership; Carrie ended the winter season as the Pro-Am champion, with three wins and two second places. Her best overall results were two second places, at Dubai and Yas Marina. Pro-Am is the biggest class in the championship.

She also returned the Audi R8 and the DMV Cup, racing in Class 1. The first two rounds at Hockenheim gave her a third and her first win in the series. The second races of the season were held at Dijon and she scored another win and a second place with co-driver Kevin Arnold. Her wins came from pole positions and she set fastest laps in the process.

In 2018, she was also announced as an official member of the Lamborghini junior racing squad. She will contest the 2018 European Super Trofeo with Konrad.

(Image copyright Carrie Schreiner)

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Female Drivers in Touring Cars: Canada


Stephanie Ruys de Perez

Female drivers have been a regular fixture in the Canadian Touring Car Championship during the past few years. Canada has produced a number of other women racers such as Monique Proulx, but it is the CTCC that seems to be their favoured destination at the moment.

Crystel Charest - raced in the Canadian Touring Car Championship in 2016 and 2017. Her car was a Mini Cooper run by Octane Racing both times. Her best result came in 2016: a fourth place at Trois-Rivieres. Previously, and alongside her CTCC events, she raced the Mini in the Super Production Challenge in Canada. She was a career-best sixth in the 2017 championship, after an eleventh place in 2016 and twelfth in 2015. Crystel has been working as a dentist in Quebec since 1992.

Marie-France Gagné – raced in the Canadian Touring Car Championship in 2014. She drove a Mini Cooper in the Touring class. It was her first season in the series, and she acquitted herself well, with a best finish of sixth, and tenth in the 22-driver Touring class. She was competing with her husband, Éric Lacouture, as a team-mate. They are both dentists.

Nathalie Hénault – raced in the Canadian Touring Car Championship in 2014, after several years of regional and club competition. She was racing in the Super class, and her car was a Subaru WRX. Right from the first round, she was on the pace, finishing eighth. Her best finishes were a pair of third places, both at Calabogie. She was fifth in the championship, and probably would have been higher without a string of DNFs near the end of the season. A second season of the CTCC ended quite similarly in 2015; Nathalie was more consistent, and had a better finishing record, and was fifth again, with a best finish of fifth at Shannonville. Her car was the Impreza. She raced in the Subaru in at least some rounds of the GT Challenge in 2016. In 2017, she was third in the Super Touring class of the CTCC, driving the Impreza. She scored two seconds and two third places.

Lindsay Rice - raced in the CTCC in 2017. She scored two fifth places in the GT Sport class at Mosport, but the rest of her part-season was affected by a string of DNFs and a non-start. She had attempted to make her CTCC debut at Trois-Rivieres in 2016, but was unable to start. Her car is a Porsche 911, which she also used in club racing in 2016. She was more successful there. As well as racing the Porsche, she did some Nissan Micra Cup races in 2016, at Mosport. Lindsay does not have a motorsport background and did not start competing until she was in her mid-twenties.

Stephanie Ruys de Perez – raced saloons in Canada in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1972, she was fourteenth in the Sanair Trans-Am race, in a Mini Cooper. She is best known for racing for the Comstock team, one of the first commercially sponsored racing teams. She also raced a Sunbeam Imp in 1966. Among her other cars was a Chevrolet Camaro. More detailed information about her career is not forthcoming, although she was quite famous at the time, appearing on TV adverts.

Ashley Sahakian - raced in the Canadian Touring Car Championship in 2017. This was her rookie year in the series. She drove a Ford Mustang and was fourth in the GT Sport class, two places below her team-mate and brother, Chris Sahakian. Ashley’s best finish was third, at Mirabel. Prior to the CTCC, she did part-seasons in the Nissan Micra Cup in 2015 and 2016. She was not among the front-runners but did improve in her second year. As well as motor racing, she plays football and is a former model.

(Image copyright Getty Images)

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Andrea Robertson


Andrea (left) with her Robertson Racing team-mates at Le Mans in 2011

Andrea Robertson is an American driver who raced at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2011, driving a Ford GT-R MkVIII. Between 2007 and 2011, she also raced in the American Le Mans Series.

She had been a motorsport fan from a young age and was a regular at her local drag strip, where Shirley Muldowney was among the drivers she watched.

Her career path was based around aviation. She worked as an air traffic controller and met David Robertson, a pilot. They were a couple for many years before they married in 2004.

In 2007, Andrea entered three rounds of the American Le Mans Series in a Robertson Racing Panoz Esperante. Her only finish was a 23rd place at Laguna Seca. Her usual team-mates were her husband David and David Murry. The couple teamed up with Arie Luyendyk Jr for the Sebring 12 Hours but the car’s engine failed after 64 laps.

This was both Robertsons’ first foray into international-level sportscar racing. Andrea had won two local SCCA championships for Ford cars (Spec Racer) between 1999 and 2003, but had never done anything above SCCA level. They ran a team with no official manufacturer assistance. Dick Barbour did provide some help in the early stages.

In 2008, the team went back to Ford power and were now equipped with a GT-R. The car had been developed by Kevin Doran and worked on by the Robertson team themselves. They took on eight rounds. Their best finish was 19th at Detroit, although their finishing record was much improved with only three non-finishes. They were rather down on pace, but improving slowly.

In 2009 and 2010, the same team continued to drive in the ALMS, still in the Ford. 2009 started with their best Sebring run ever. The Robertsons and Murry were fourteenth overall and seventh in class. They were then eleventh at St Petersburg. The Road America race was also a good showing for them; they were 15th and within five laps of the winners. At the end of the season, Andrea did her first overseas race, entering the Okayama round of the Asian Le Mans Series in Japan.

2010 was a slightly shorter season but the team continued to put in solid results. The best of these was a 22nd place in the Sebring 12 Hours.

In 2011, Andrea drove at Le Mans, and was third in the GTE Am class. Andrea and David’s finish was a first for a husband and wife team and proved popular. They were 26th overall.

The team also entered the American Le Mans Series, and was 20th in the GT class after six races.

The Ford GT was retired after the 2011 season. Andrea also retired from driving duties. Between then and 2016, the team ran cars for other drivers in the ALMS and in local championships.

(Image from crash.net)

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Marie-Luise Kozmian (Kozmianowa)



Marie-Luise Kozmian is the anglicised name of Maria-Ludwika Kozmianowa, who raced a Bugatti T37 and other cars in central and eastern Europe in the 1930s. She is occasionally also called Maria von Kozmian.

She was born in 1892 as Maria Komorowska and married Andrzej Kozmian, an engineer. She was a wealthy landowner in what is now Poland.

Her first racing car seems to have been an Austro-Daimler.

The first major outing for this car may have been the Rajd Pan (Women’s Rally) in 1930. She was the winner of the fourth edition of this event, held that year, as well as one other running of the rally. This was a city-to-city road rally; the 1930 route passed through Warsaw, Zakopane and Wisla then back to Warsaw, some 1150km.

Many sources describe her as winning the 1930 Lwow (Lemburg) Grand Prix, but contemporary results do not support this. Other sources call it a race for touring cars. Motor Sport magazine reports that she won the class for “dominant type cars”, run over 15 laps (45km). “dominant type” cars were “the models on which the manufacturer was concentrating”, which suggests it was a production car class. There were additional races for Sports and Racing cars.  

The next big event for her was the 1931 Baltic Cup, in which she won the Touring class. The event was held in Poland and was a 7km time trial.  

Some time after this she acquired a new car, a Bugatti T37. This car could run in Voiturette races and she used it in two editions of her home Grand Prix, at Lwow. She was sixth in the voiturette race at the 1933 event and was an entrant for the 1934 race, which did not go ahead.

During her career, Marie-Luise travelled around central Europe to compete. In 1933, she travelled to Hradec Kralove in what is now the Czech Republic for a street race. She was second in the 1500cc class.

In 1934, she took the Bugatti to Switzerland for the Berne Grand Prix, run to Voiturette regulations. This race supported the Swiss Grand Prix. She was tenth overall, behind the French driver Anne Itier.

The same year, she took part in the Klausen hillclimb, also in Switzerland. She was second in the 1500cc class, behind “Johnny” Lurani’s Maserati.

Hillclimbs were said to be her best events, although results are not often forthcoming. A series of pictures show her racing the Bugatti up the Semmering pass in Austria, but it is not known which year she entered. She did set a new ladies’ record on that course in 1933 and was third in the 1500cc Sports class, but she may have driven there more than once. She is meant to have raced until 1937.

She died in 1955.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Valeria Carballo


Valeria Carballo (Valeria Vanessa Carballo Berroteran) is a Venezuelan driver who raced single-seaters in Europe for several seasons.

Initially, Valeria was based in Italy. She made her debut in Italian Formula Renault in 2011, driving for Team Costa Rica. After a difficult year with a string of DNFs in the middle, she was seventeenth in the championship, with a best finish of eighth, at Misano. This was one of two top-ten finishes that year, the other being a ninth at Monza. Team Costa Rica fielded five drivers over the season and only one, James Adams, was Costa Rican.

Whilst in Italy, she also raced in Formula Abarth, in the Italian and European series. She did not enter enough races to make any impact. All of her Formula Abarth outings were as part of Team Costa Rica.

In 2012, she tackled the European F3 Open championship, after a couple of races in the winter series, at Paul Ricard. Her finishes in the Trophy itself were not overly impressive, apart from one seventh at Monza, but she did quite well in the Cup class, earning many top-ten finishes. She was a team-mate to Tatiana Calderon at Emilio de Villota Motorsport, although they were racing in separate classes.

Her second season in Euro F3 started with the Winter Series, in which she scored one seventh place. In the series proper, she was part of the Campos team. It was a better season for her, or more consistent than before, with five top-ten finishes, the best being seventh, at Portimao. This was enough for twelfth overall. She was the highest-placed of the three Campos drivers, above Artur Janosz in thirteenth and Denis Nagulin in 19th.

Valeria’s career ended in 2014. Like several other Venezuelan racing drivers, she had been sponsored by PDVSA, the Venezuelan state-owned oil company. Pastor Maldonado was the highest-profile of these, and Milka Duno was among their number. At the end of 2013, PDVSA suspended its motorsport sponsorship programme and stopped paying all drivers competing abroad. This was due to certain individuals using the sponsorship programme to obtain large quantities of foreign currency. It is not known whether Valeria was one of these drivers.


Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Katie Milner



Katie Milner won the Junior Saloon Car Championship in 2016. She now races Ginettas.

She first raced in the Junior Saloon Car Championship in 2015, driving a Citroen Saxo. This was her first season of circuit racing full-stop. She was ninth in the championship. Her best finish was fourth, at Croft, and she had two other top-five positions at Croft and Oulton Park.

Prior to her season in the JSCC, she was a successful autograss racer for four seasons between 2012 and 2015, with five junior titles. Autograss takes place on a short, oval grass track. Other saloon racers including Alice Hughes have used it as a training ground. Her first JSCC campaign overlapped with her last autograss title.

She also tried out the Ginetta Junior series at Brands Hatch during the 2015-2016 off-season. This was a challenge for her and she only had a highest finish of eleventh.

In 2016, she raced in the JSCC for a final season before she turned seventeen. The disappointments of the Ginetta winter series were forgotten. It was a dramatic year; she was one of the leading drivers, with seven wins, but her championship title was only awarded after appeals. She was excluded for technical reasons at Knockhill, but was reinstated, and crowned the winner.

In 2017, she raced in the Ginetta GT5 Championship, as a senior. It was a somewhat inconsistent season, but she managed two fourth places and one fifth at Rockingham.

At the end of the season, she won the BWRDC Ladies' Race at the Walter Hayes Trophy on handicap, having finished second on scratch to Sarah Moore in another Ginetta.

Katie is the daughter of rally driver Johnny Milner.

(Image copyright LAT)

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.

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.  

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 2018.

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 is staying with the Thai Super Series but has 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.

(Image from http://www.nationmultimedia.com)