Category: Women in Motoring

Models and Cars: Jodie Kidd’s obsession with cars.

Women Wednesday: Jodie Kidd.

If you’re not to clued up on the modelling world, Jodie Kidd is a world renown supermodel. Since she was fifteen she has modelled for large brands such as Chanel, Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent and many many more. Besides modelling, Jodie Kidd has appeared on shows such Strictly Come Dancing and Celebrity Masterchef. Like many famous people, Jodie Kidd has things she likes and things she dislikes. Interestingly, one of the things Jodie Kidd really likes is cars.

Her love for cars is so strong,she has participated in events such as the Gumball 3000 and the Mille Miglia. She was even once the fastest celebrity on Top Gear’s Star in a reasonably priced car. It’s safe to say that we at TheMotorist love ladies like Jodie Kidd, this is because she goes breaks the social norms of what people think ladies should like, especially ladies in careers such as modelling. People expect models to always be these “OH EM GEE” glamour girls, little do they know that people like Jodie Kidd like getting their hands dirty under the bonnet and behind the wheel. She personally drives a Maserati, but she has declared her love for the new Jaguar F-Type too, she clearly has good taste. Check out this cool video by GoodWood of her and other celebrities at the Mille Miglia 2014.

 

Ashley Fiolek: A true inspiration.

Women Wednesday: Ashley Fiolek

At the young age of 24, Ashley Fiolek has achieved a great deal. She has won the WMX championship four times and has made quite a name for herself in the sport of Motocross. She has been riding since age three and racing since age seven. Throughout her career she has won many races and represented women amazingly in the world of motorsport. She was the first women to be featured on the cover of TransWorld Motocross, one of the largest Motocross magazines in the world. Let’s not forget the fact that she has won two gold medals at the X-Games and was signed by Honda racing too. She’s even been nominated for an ESPN ESPY Award for all her achievements.

Ashley Fiolek has managed to do all this despite being deaf from birth. If that’s not inspiring, that we don’t know what is. She is an amazing example of not allowing our imperfections or disabilities to stop us from doing what we love. With the right support structure and determination, Ashley was able to be successful in her career despite being having a disability. Often times we allow ourselves to let our doubts or insecurities get the better of us, but people like Ashley help us learn a great life lesson. No matter who you are and what your circumstance is, you can do great things if you focus on the positive and forget the negative. So next time you’re feeling sorry for yourself because you feel limited in your abilities, think of the story of Ashley Fiolek and remember that anything is possible, it all depends on you. Happy Women Wednesday Motorists.

Don’t disrespect a female officer…Don’t.

Women Wednesday: Female JMPD officer teachers motorist a thing or two about respect

If you get stopped by a police officer and your windscreen is cracked and your license disc is expired, you’re not going to have a good time. Even if the police officer stops you for something you claim you didn’t do, chances are they will get you on the things that are wrong with your car. The worst mistake would be to antagonise the police officer by arrogantly saying that you pay their salaries. Well, that exactly what Mr Clive Naidoo did. Maybe he thought that he could say things like that because it was a female cop, maybe he thought by filming the fining and posting it on social media, he would get South Africa to side with him. Boy was he wrong though, not only did his plan backfire on him, he was also made a national fool in the process.

The morrow of the story is, don’t think you can be cocky because you’re dealing with a female. Watch the video below of how this female police officer teachers Clive Naidoo a lesson on respect. Happy Women Wednesday Motorists. #Bloubosrand

Are women more at risk of getting a Smash and Grab attack?

Women Wednesday: Tips for women to avoid a potential smash and grab attack.

It’s 8:05 am and your foot is already tired from the hour you’ve spent in traffic, you’re late and you can feel that today is going to be “one of those days”. If only you didn’t press snooze three times and woke up when your alarm screamed at you the first time. The traffic doesn’t look like it’s going to get better and you can see yourself getting into the office closer to 9:00 am. You may as well use this free time to make yourself look presentable, after all you don’t want your colleagues seeing your “I overslept” face. Time to pop open that sun visor mirror, get out that MAC from the handbag and make yourself look fashionably late. The traffic light just turned red so there is a quick opportunity to get started. These stupid hawkers always bother you here and as always you tell them to go away. Why is one of them lingering like that? You ask, surely he can see that no means no. Why is he not going away? What is in his hand? *SMASH* *GRAB* *GONE*. By the time you’ve realised the deafening noise of glass breaking was in fact your window, the vagrant is gone with your handbag containing your wallet, cell phone and I.D.

It can happen to you.

Does that scene seem all to familiar? For many women who have been through this traumatic experience, it does. The day you least expect it, is the day somebody decides to violate you and your car through a smash and grab attack. These type of incidents happen to both men and women, but the likelihood of these type of incidents happening to women are higher as criminals view women as soft targets. Another factor is that women unlike many men carry bags which contain vital items in them. It’s cumbersome to put bags like these into the boot as things like cell phones and wallets are easier to access when they’re next to you stowed in a bag instead of in various other places. The reality is that even though this may be easier, it’s not safer. A hawker can often times be an opportunist and if they get the chance to some easy money, they might just take it.

How can I prevent a Smash and Grab attack?

One of the simplest ways of preventing this to happen to anyone, (man or woman) is to simply store handbags, laptop bags and other items in the boot. Not only is this safer, it also clears unnecessary driving distractions because it’s easy to quickly do your eye-liner at the traffic light if your handbag is close by or even answer a quick text. The fact is that even though it’s easier, again it’s not safe. Even though I am not a female, spending time with many women has made me realise how easy it is to leave a handbag on the passenger seat. If you’re late, rather do your make up at the office car park when stationary and safe. It’s the saddest thing to see criminals take advantage of women at traffic lights, but the risk can be reduced if the right precautions are taken. So ladies stay safe and keep your bags in the boot, everyone wants you to look good, but not at the expense of your window and your belongings. Happy Women Wednesday Motorists.

*Image courtesy of www.buzzsouthafrica.co.za

Gals Garage-no more “damsels in distress”.

Women Wednesday: Gals Garage

A group of women all talking about how men want to take advantage of them when a car emergency happens can be a really intimidating site to watch. You see heads nod passionately about the subject, all agreeing about how women are often disrespected in the motor industry. Stories are exchanged regarding bad experiences in dealerships, all based on gender discrimination. Being a fly all of a suddenly turns into being an elephant in the room, since I am the only male present in a workshop entitled “Gals Garage”.

You many wonder why I allowed myself to be in such an awkward position? Well the main reason is that I am always interested to try out new experiences and another reason is that the topics being discussed in this workshop were topics that were very close to home for me. See I have three females in my life that are very dear to me and the thought of them being in a vulnerable position whilst driving makes me worry a great deal. So when Vuyi Mpofu, the founder of Gals Garage invited me to sit in on a session, I agreed and came back feeling even more liberated than the women who attended.

So what is Gals Garage? Before we answer that question, let’s deal with a fact that needs to be discussed with regards to women in the motor industry. Since the bad old days of blatant sexism, cars have been labelled as a “manly” thing to be interested in and cooking and cleaning has been labelled as something “girly”. Times have changed and so have gender roles in many different industries, except for the automotive industry. Are men to blame for this? Yes. Are women to blame for this? Yes. Firstly some men need to get it out of their heads that women don’t need to know about cars. The fact is that there are many females who are very passionate and knowledgeable about cars. Secondly many women need to get it out their heads that they don’t need to know about cars, as long as their boyfriend/husband/brother knows, their fine. Both of these thoughts are nonsense.

Which brings me back to the first question, Gals Garage and what it’s about. Vuyi Mpofu focuses on empowerment, not only for women but for their daughters. She builds the scenario of someones daughter getting a flat tyre on the side of the road. Will that daughter know how to change her own tyre or will she wait for “a knight in shining armour”? It’s a simple yet profound question. If I as a guy get a flat tyre, it’s taboo for me to not know how to change it myself, yet it’s normal for a lady to plead ignorance when this happens. Those are the old school stereotypes that Gals Garage seeks to break down, through simply educating women about things a guy “should” know about cars.

The workshop teaches women how to diagnose potential problems they may encounter in their car, what happens when a dealership services their car and what are their options when they finance a car. This workshop endeavours to empower women by giving them the relevant knowledge so that they aren’t taken advantage of in certain scenarios. Growing up with a mother who could tell you if your wheel bearings needed replacing by listening to them made me realise the importance of women having such knowledge. Time and time again, dealerships, petrol attendants and even panel beaters tried to take advantage of my mother but failed, because she was empowered.

Gals Garage aims to make sure that all the women who attend this workshop come out of it feeling the same way. There is a need for these negative stereotypes to die because whether you’re a man or women, you’re a motorist and as a motorist there are things about your car that you need to know. Workshops like these are great but the work begins at home, if your daughter wants to play with toy cars, don’t tell her that’s not “lady like” because if you do she may just phone you one day and tell you that she has a flat tyre and you may be far far away when this happens. For more information on Gals Garage, contact Vuyi Mpofu on Facebook under her personal name and on twitter under the handle @drivinginheels. Happy Women Wednesday Motorists.

*Image courtesy of www.blog.drive24.co.uk

Why we all love Vicki Butler-Henderson

Women Wednesday: Vicki Butler-Henderson

We all had that one girl that we crushed on as little boys, you know the one that was different to many of the other girls. She wasn’t a “girly” girl but wasn’t a “Tom-boy” either, she didn’t mind playing soccer with the boys but could also talk fashion with the girls. She was just a cool girl, you know what I mean? I had a crush like that growing up, the difference is that my crush was on a TV screen, in a different country and she was much older than me. There’s something about a lady who is passionate about cars and is not afraid to show it. Some show their passion for cars by talking about them, others by writing about them. Then you get Vicki Butler-Henderson who shows her passion for car by driving them, very very well.

Like most talented drivers, she has a karting background, something she was involved in since age twelve. Her brother raced cars and her grandfather was involved in karting too. We all know her from the show Fifth Gear but those who are long time fans of her will know she presented the old Top Gear, co-hosting with Tiff Needell. This is where she showed the world that ladies can drive just as well, if not better than many men. Only a few people will understand the emotional feeling of driving a car that makes you happy in every single way. Vicki demonstrated this feeling when she got emotional behind the wheel of a yellow Ferrari 458 Spyder, something many enthusiasts will empathise with. If that doesn’t demonstrate her love for all things four wheeled, I don’t know what will. That is why it’s only apt that we feature Vicki Butler Henderson for this weeks “Women Wednesday”, a lady who most little boys and men wished they could marry, a simply cool girl.

*image courtesy of www.ausmotive.com

Women Wednesday: Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick-Not just a pretty face…

The name Danica Patrick is very well known amongst car racing enthusiasts for two reasons. Firstly because she’s a brilliant driver and secondly because she is particularly good looking. The order of the reasons why she is well known in the car community is dependant on the person. Men for some odd reason find it attractive if a women is very good at driving fast, probably the same way that women find it attractive if a man can cook well. There is something we humans find attractive about a person of a particular sex excelling in something the opposite sex is dominant in, it’s all very weird but true.

So Danica Patrick, what do we know about her? For starters she is the most successful women in the history of the Indy Car series (America’s version of Formula One). She is the only women to have won a race in the series at the Indy Japan in 2008. She also races and has done very well in Nascar, another American favourite which seems like a bunch of cars turning left at high speeds but requires much more skill and strategy than expected. In Nascar she has achieved the status of being the first women to win the Nascar Sprint Series Pole by turning in the fastest qualifying lap since 1990 at that time.

Where did all this begin? As usual with Kart racing at the age of ten years. From racing karts, she competed in the UK racing Formula Ford where she competed with other soon to be famous race car drivers such as Jenson Button. Note to any parents who want their child to be a successful race car driver, start them out young. All successful race car drivers started at a young age racing Go-Karts and moved on to bigger things from there. Okay back to Danica, there have been rumblings over the years of her possibly racing in Formula One which would be very exciting. The rumours have been just rumours for now but we would be very pleased to see a female driver join such a championship. For now, only time will tell but even as is, Danica Patrick has gone beyond proving herself as far as racing is concerned. So next time you hear about Danica Patrick, remember that she’s not just a pretty face, she’s a pretty good driver too. Happy Women Wednesday Motorists.

*image courtesy of www.nascar.com

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Michèle Mouton

Women Wednesday: Michèle Mouton

Have you ever heard of the “Race of Champions”? If you have, we’re going to tell you about it anyway. It’s an international Motorsport event that is held each year. The thing about this event is that unlike other Motorsport events, people like David Coulthard, Sebastian Loeb and the late Colin Mcrae have all participated in it. Imagine all your favourite WRC, Formula One and Moto GP racers put up against each other in identical cars on a track. Sounds awesome doesn’t it? Well that’s exactly what Race of Champions is. The event has taken place all over the world now since the late 80’s.

Who started this amazing event? A sweet looking lady by the name of Michèle Mouton. Her experience in organising such an event doesn’t come from being in the events business, it comes from being in motorsport. It comes from winning the iconic two-litre prototype class in the 24 hours of LeMans in 1975. It comes from winning the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 1985. It comes from being the first ever women to win a major rally title, the German Rally Championship. Her experience being FIA’s manager for the World Rally Championship during 2011 may have also helped. Need I say more?

Yes, Michèle Mouton is a legend, a wolf in sheep’s clothing so to speak. It just goes to show that you don’t have to be messy and oil stained to be a rally driver, or a male too. Michèle is a wonderful example of the large contribution that women have made in the world of racing and motoring in general. If it weren’t for her, the Race of Champions wouldn’t exist, so all petrol heads owe her a big thank you. It’s an awesome feeling to know that a now 64 year old lady can probably still show many young racers a thing or two on a track. I wonder where Formula One would be if it were in the hands of someone like her? As we know, things are often more organised and less chaotic when there is a ladies touch involved. Happy Women Wednesday Motorists

Women Wednesday: Leona Chin

We’re going to keep this weeks Women Wednesday segment short and sweet. The short of it is that Leona Chin is featured. Who is Leona Chin? To put it simply, she’s a lady who likes to travel sideways for a living, yes she’s a professional driver who specialises in drifting. Besides drifting, she’s participated in other types of race car driving such as rally, autocross and gymkhana. On her biography she says she got into the sport of drifting through chance, by someone who offered to teach her the sport in exchange for her website building skills. You read correctly, someone basically said to her, “if you build me a website, I will teach you how to drift”. Did her teacher do a good job? Well here’s the sweet part, you can decide, because below is a video of her pranking a driving instructor who thinks she’s new to driving, until…