Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Brands Hatch, 1951

With women racing on equal terms with many of the men at pre-war Brooklands, it's a surprise that the ladies failed to make much of impression when motor sport resumed after 1945. The influential 500cc Formula Junior class would seem to have been tailor-made for women, it being a class where a light body weight was a great advantage. For whatever reason it was not to be and this newsreel of a ladies race in 1951 gives a good impression of the chauvinism of the times.

By the way the race was won by Elisabeth Store in Alf Bottoms' JPS although the moral victor was the motorcyclist Olga Kevelos - winner of two gold stars in the International Six Days Trial - driving a works Kieft. Olga was winning the race so easily that she was asked to slow down only for Store to surprise her at the finishing line. Joan Gerard, wife of Grand Prix driver Bob, was third in a Cooper.

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