Monday, 17 April 2017

Rena Blome

Rena in 1984

Rena Blome was the fastest female rally driver in Germany, in the mid-1980s.

A former apprentice painter and decorator, she rallied internationally from 1981, initially in a Peugeot 104. During this season, she entered the Monte Carlo and RAC Rallies, and was the leading German finisher in the 1000 Lakes Rally. She did not finish the other two World Championship events.  

In 1982, she managed a twelfth place in the Rallye Deutschland, and another in the Vorderpfalz Rally. This was one of four top-twenty finishes that year. The Peugeot team gave her a works 104 for the Hunsrück Rally, but she did not finish.

By the start of 1983, she had been talent-spotted by Peugeot Sport, who provided her with a car for the German championship. She drove a Talbot Samba that year, and was twelfth in the German championship. Her best finish was twelfth, in the ADAC-Saarland Peugeot-Talbot Rally, and she also scored a class win. The class win was won of seven that year.

In a Talbot Samba, and scored three top-ten finishes in 1984. The best of these was an eighth place, in the Saarland Rally. The others were two tenths in the Hessen and Trifels rallies, both with class wins. She was sixth in the German championship, and would probably have been higher, had she finished more rallies.

The following year, she returned to the Peugeot side of the company with a 205 GTi. She achieved two more top tens, an eighth in the Sachs Winter Rally, and a sixth in the Saarland Rally. Again, too many retirements later in the season disrupted her momentum, but it was still a strong season, in a competitive championship.

At the end of the year, she tried to obtain a Group B 205 T16 from Peugeot. This car, one of the fastest of the Group B era, would have allowed her to challenge for overall wins. It had allowed Kalle Grundel to dominate the 1985 championship, and he moved on to Ford, creating a space in the team. In the end they did not give her one; the number one Peugeot seat was filled by Michele Mouton, who went on to win the 1986 championship. Rena had set her heart on a T16, and sat the season out rather than try her luck in another car.

After the 1986 season, Group B was banned, so she never got her T16 drive.

Her career finishes here, apart from one run in the 1987 Rally Deutschland, in an Opel Kadett. She did not finish. After her retirement from rallying, she worked as a safe-driving instructor, often working with other women, and had children. Much later, she worked in the field of complementary medicine, and opened her own clinic.

(Image copyright McKlein)

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