Lives: Sawbridgeworth, Herts
Occupation: Production Services Manager for a newspaper
Currently competing in: front-runner, Avon Tyres Caterham Superlight Championship http://www.caterham.co.uk/; British GT Championship http://www.britishgt.com/ in Lamborghini Gallardo
Career highlights: 2007 runner-up, Avon Tyres Caterham Superlights; 2002 & ‘07 MSA Lord Wakefield Trophy recipient (for women drivers in motor sport), 2002 Caterham Graduates Championship (Rachel was the first woman in 40+ years of Caterham Motorsport to win one of their titles)
What got you interested in motor sport in the first place?
I’ve always enjoyed watching motor sport on TV. I really wanted to have a go and was always out in my car on the road and tried a bit of fun karting but that was it. I had no idea what to do to get started
Where/how did you get started?
Bear in mind the term ‘club motor sport’… I didn’t even know what that meant – was it some social club or something? But I found out a pal of my dad’s was sponsoring someone in a small Alfa Romeo championship. I went along and got even more confused so went up to this chap in paddock and asked a few questions. Things were a lot clearer suddenly and then I saw an advert for this thing called the Caterham Academy http://www.caterhamracing.com/championships/academy/ which let owners of Caterhams come and do things like sprints, hill climbs and a few races. I’d always wanted a Caterham so…
What was your first car and how much did it cost you?
Surprise, surprise – a Caterham Classic road car! I saved like crazy and in February 2000 bought one for £10,500. It was my dream car and now I owned one. I built it up with my dad from kit form. He was good at carpentry so knew how to build things! Then I went and did the Caterham Academy and they did all sorts like helped me fill out my licence. I was away. Other manufacturers do academies these days as well and they are very worthwhile…
What tips would you pass onto someone who wants to start competing?
Be prepared to scrimp and save – it does cost money. You can start out cheaply but if the bug does bite then your budget could start increasing. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to people. I see people in a role and I go and talk to them. No matter how daft you think the question might be… ask! The people in it are passionate about it and want to get more people involved.
Are you a member of a motor club and how long for?
British Women Racing Drivers Club (BWRDC) http://www.bwrdc.co.uk/. Yes, such a thing does exist – bear in mind this is a sport where the women can take on the men on an equal footing. Physical strength doesn’t come into as it does in say athletics or football.
Why would you recommend taking up motor sport?
Why wouldn’t I? I’d recommend motor sport the same way I’d recommend chocolate and I crave chocolate. I’ve lost touch with nearly every pal from my youth. Without question, my entire circle of friends now is through motor sport right across the country. We’ve all got a common passion. It’s like young mums meet young mums and can share their woes. You see all different parts of the country, make friends everywhere and I’ve even been fortunate to go and race in Europe. It becomes a major and very enjoyable part of your life.