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Women in Motorsports Blog Carnival October 18th 2007

Published Oct 18th 2007, 5:05pm by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles

Natacha_gachnang_ Natacha Gachnang makes history by becoming the first female driver to race an A1GP Car. “The tests in Silverstone have been a fantastic experience and I’m very grateful to Max Welti for the opportunity he gave me to drive for the A1 Team Switzerland team. It’s interesting to get to drive a single-seater like the A1 GP car, one of the top racing cars in the world.

"I will do my best to help the Swiss team prepare an excellent week-end on this technical track very challenging and very well designed that I know because I drove four races here with the Formula BMW in 2003, 2004 and 2005. I’m very happy to be racing here amongst confirmed talents. I can’t wait to be in the car."

Jill27s20headshot1_3 The wheel of fortune have turned for racer Jill George. While it’s a given that she will be the only female racer when she straps in to race in the NASCAR late model division but over the past two seasons, George has gone from a woman struggling to learn the ropes of racing to a racer who can more than hold her own with the boys.

"We just kind of jumped into a late model four years ago and went from there," said George, who is married to Northern Iowa athletics director Rick Hartzell. "It was a lot of learning, more learning than I ever thought. Those first two years, I pretty much kept going to the back of the field. Eventually, after awhile, you start to get better and start getting confidence that you could race with those people in the back. And at the end of my second year and possibly the start of my third year was the first time I actually took my top starting position.

"Even at the beginning of this year, somebody asked if I wanted to go to the back and I said, 'No, it is time to take my spot.' It was time to start racing with the faster people because that was the only way I was going to get better. I don't think I've looked back since."

Tiffany_johnson Racer Tiffany Johnson is having a breakout season on the National Hot Rod Association circuit, making waves at the Upper Midwest tracks and gaining attention. In her first full season in super sleds, the 16-year-old is one of the top drivers in her regional class, which include motorcycles and converted snowmobiles. Lonnie, Tiffany’s father serves as mechanic, manager and social director for Team Tiffany.

Penelope_pitstop_290x329 Penelope Pitstop, the heroine of Hanna-Barbera’s animated 1970’s series Wacky Races, will join NASCAR and NHRA’s Racegirl Motorsports in an exclusive partnership appealing to female racing fans. Penelope Pitstop: The Original Racegirl is projected to be a huge co-branding hit for Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Racegirl Motorsports.

Penelope was deemed a perfect match for Racegirl’s expansion into licensed character merchandise. “Women and girls are into motor sports, and we continue to see the interest grow week-in and week-out trackside, ” said Racegirl president Robert Chestnut. “Penelope Pitstop is the original racegirl, so bringing her to the track on great merchandise was a perfect fit.”


Emily Sue Steck is at the top of her class. Some racers take years to move from Thunderstox to Sportsmen to Late Models and some are never are able to put together the finances it takes to run at the top levels. Luckily, Steck spent two years in Thunderstox and two years in Sportsmen before making the jump to Late Models, where she has enjoyed tremendous success.

“I never thought I’d make it to Late Models, especially as quick as I did,” she said. “It all just kind of fell into my lap.”


This puts a whole new meaning into put some ‘roo into your ‘doo. During practice for the Bathurst 100 in Australia the feisty kangaroo hoped over the middle fence and began bounding across the track. In this video several drivers swerve to avoid the kangaroo. Neither the animal nor any of the race participants were injured. Watch Mr. Hoppy HERE.

Ashleyforce Ashley Force feels like she has another chance to be a good daughter. After her father's life-threatening September 23rd crash, she feels lucky to have more time with her legendary Dad.

“After that long golf cart ride, I'll never take [quality time with the family] for granted again,” she wrote on her MySpace blog last week. “I'm getting a second chance at being a good daughter.”

Deborah_renshaw_smile_2 is a 2007 proud sponsor of the NASCAR No. 112 Chevrolet driven by the highest ranked professional female race car driver Deborah Renshaw. Check out Deborah’s website at


by Linda Przygodski
Contributing Editor

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