Rachel
Smith

I love cars and motorsport. I got into cars because my dad was a bit of a car nut in his day, and I used to sit on his knee as a kid and watch the likes of Niki Lauda and Michele Alboreto in F1. Whilst my mum wanted me to learn to knit and sew, I was outside in the garage with my dad learning how to change plugs and oil filters!

The photo below was taken at Snetterton in 1998 when I went to a Formula Palmer Audi race meeting as a guest of Justin Wilson (now in CART). I had a great day mainly because everything and everyone was so accessible, you could walk up to any of the drivers for an autograph, photo or chat, and they were all so friendly and eager to talk to you about their racing. I think that when you have actually met and talked to the drivers, you tend to support them more vigorously in their racing because they seem more human to you than an F1 driver surrounded by a barrage of security.

I used to race karts, click the KARTING link to read more. It's excellent fun and I totally recommend it!!!! If you go to corporate karting events of if you are on a team and you ever need a spare driver, please get in touch! Unfortunately lack of dough means I don't get to race much anymore.

In September 2001 I went to the Lotus factory in Hethel, Norfolk, and did a Driver Training Course, where I got to drive a Mk II Elise all day! I was honored to have Dave Minter as my instructor and very good he was too. I was a bit nervous at first but soon got into it and was off and away! Click HERE to see my Driver Score Sheet and HERE to see my certificate.

In October 2003 I did a Lotus "Scare yourself Sensible" day too, certificate below.

1999 was my first year racing karts properly. After pootling around in corporate karts I decided to go for it for real. I can't afford my own kart so for 2 years I raced in a team driving a 4-stroke Prokart in the Kartsport Endurance once a month at PF International circuit in Lincolnshire. I also did a couple of races in the Club 100 Sprint Series, which runs 2-stroke direct drive karts all over the country at various circuits.

Unfortunately I don't race for the team anymore, lack of money put me on the sidelines, but I still make the occasional outing to various circuits now and then, just not as often as I would like.

If you need a spare driver for any of your corporate or otherwise karting events, please give me a call!

I have raced at Lydd (Kent), Birmingham Wheels, Daytona Milton Keynes, The Raceway in London, Buckmore Park (Kent), Silverstone indoor and Stowe circuits, and PF International (Lincolnshire).

Previous races have included a BTCC Media day, where we were teamed up against Touring Car drivers. I raced with the carenthusiast.com lads and we came 4th overall! We had BTCC Production driver James Kaye as our guest driver.

Name: Rachel Smith

Age: 33

Lives: Norwich, UK

Job: Web Developer

Interests: Motorsport, fast cars and motorbikes, scuba diving, keeping rats, swing dancing, WW2 airfields, the 8th Air Force and it's history, heavy bombers (B17, B24, B25), WW2 fighter planes, collecting vintage LIFE and YANK magazines, Jack Daniels, chocolate, eBay, gadgets, home baking, karting, warm sunshine, autumn days, long summer nights in a beer garden with good company!

Future ambitions:

  • Own a stable of exotic sports cars
  • Be rich enough to never work again
  • Swim with whale sharks/dolphins
  • Go whale watching
  • Fly across the Grand Canyon
  • Have a flight in a P51, Lancaster, B24/B25 and Spitfire
  • To dive "Blackjack", a sunken B17 in Papua New Guinea

Life highlights to date:

  • Beating 50,000 other girls to be a finalist in ITV's "Formula Woman"
  • Having a flight in a B17 bomber "Nine-o-Nine"
  • My first drive round Hethel in a Lotus
  • Scuba diving in the Red Sea

Claim to fame: Maternal grandfather is related through marriage to Margaret Cook, sister of Capt. James Cook.

Choons: 1940s Big Band!!! I love Miller, Dorsey, Basie etc....also Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Sinatra, Tony Bennett. Gilbert & Sullivan Opera is also a fave, plus various classical stuff such as Grieg's Holberg Suite & Peer Gynt Suite, John Tavener, Ludovico Einaudi...again, too much to list. Modern tastes include The Manics (saw them on NYE 1999 in Cardiff - wicked!), Radiohead, Turin Brakes, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Placebo, Pink Floyd, Matchbox 20, club & dance music.....most stuff except ragga, rap, metal and teeny-pop.

Films: Star Wars Trilogy, Gladiator, The Abyss, Road Trip, LOTR 1, American Grafitti, Groundhog Day, City Slickers, Ghostbusters, The Mummy, The Matrix, Stuart Little, The Faculty, Terminator 1 & 2, Saving Private Ryan, Twelve o'clock High, Pearl Harbor, Kate & Leopold.

Old classic faves include High Society, Young at Heart, Wuthering Heights, Roman Holiday, Friendly Persuasion, Singing in the Rain, Gone With the Wind and Calamity Jane.

Family: Elder brother Iain, ageing hippy, Divemaster and rock gee-tar player.

Keeping boredom at bay....

  • Home Baking
  • Going to airshows/restored WWII airfields
  • Attending numerous 1940s swing dances around the country
  • Chasing vintage planes
  • Learning dressmaking
  • Watching too many DVDs
  • Spending ££££ on eBay
  • Drinking whiskey
  • Going to the cinema
  • Collecting vintage LIFE and YANK magazines
  • Reading
  • Moaning about life in general

Source: www.redheadracing.co.uk/

Related Issue: Women Racers Directory, Women in Racing, Women Racers, More Women in Racing, Race Schedules, Notable Women

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