Female racing drivers from 10 different countries across four continents have so far been confirmed for the two-race Formula Woman Nations Cup Series Challenge at Rockingham on the weekend of August 27/28. Each will compete in identical Caterham Roadsport B 1.6-litre K Series-engined cars during the BARC-organised event. These showcase races will set the scene for the official eight-round Nations Cup Series to be held in April/May 2006.
England will be represented by three drivers: Emma Hayles (23), a competitor in last year's Formula Woman series, Natalie Butler (31) who raced in Formula Palmer Audi and MG Maestros, and Annie Templeton (54), a grandmother with 20 years of race experience in vintage, touring and GT cars. Margo Gardiner (31), another Formula Woman veteran, will represent Scotland, while John Cooper Challenge racer Rachel Owen (24) will take to the Rockingham banking for Wales.
Aspiring Formula One driver Anna Walewska (18) from Poland, hopes her credentials in karting, T-Cars and Britcars will serve her well when she gets behind the wheel of her Caterham. A good result should bring her more welcome media nationwide exposure than that which greeted her recent escape from a road car licence ban after she was caught edging 100mph in a Ferrari 355!
Australia's Lauren Gray (18) will be competing this weekend (August 20/21) in both F3 and Australian Production Saloons before leaping onto a UK-bound flight to take part in the Nations Cup. Joining her from Sweden will be Nettan Lindgren (48), well known for her broad experience in various formulae, most notably Swedish Touring Cars.
Representing America will be Amanda Hennessy (22), a very capable driver whose impressive record belies her years. Since 1999 she has competed in Spec Racer Fords, ice racing and NASCAR. Theresia Balk (34) from the Netherlands, is new to motorsport but has extensive track experience and handled the Caterham very well during her Nations Cup test just a few weeks ago.
From South Africa the Series Challenge will welcome Jennifer Murray (22), who has already seen much success in karting, saloon car racing and Formula Fords. A late entrant into the Nations Cup line-up is Ireland's Jennifer Daniel (25), who has been racing in Fiat Uno and Puntos since 2001.
All of those participating in the Series Challenge will automatically qualify for next year's full Nations Cup Series.
"The Nations Cup Series Challenge has clearly caught the imagination of the international female race driver community," commented Penny Mattocks, Championship Co-ordinator. "Rockingham will offer a real challenge for all involved - none of whom have direct experience of racing Caterhams - and will give us a useful insight into who might shine during the full series next spring."