wendy markey1Racing is a ruddy expensive business. The lower formulas are full of folks funding racing with remortgages, loans or by simply living off Aldi baked beans and tap water. Any sniff of sponsorship gets quickly snapped up. Only Lord Hesketh could afford to turn sponsors down and that decision eventually helped to bankrupt him. Wendy Markey started racing (for a bet) in 1973, she borrowed a Honda S600 and entered the production saloon car championship race at Oulton park. After a successful season she was offered a drive in a Mazda RX3 in the 1974 touring car championship.

Now here comes the crunch. Sponsorship for Wendy’s RX3 drive was offered by Penthouse magazine, which might have been amusing for a someone like James Hunt, but who knows what she made of it? I have tried to track her down, without success, but history shows that she competed successfully and went on to have a decent career setting a fastest lap at Cadwell and also competing on the continent in touring cars at Spa and the Nürburgring. Minis followed and a classic BMW but eventually the funds ran out. This is all good for a male driver, but pretty impressive in an era where the only women in racing were usually pit girls and tea ladies. In addition to that, doing so with the name of a grot-mag plastered all over everything is pretty heroic in our eyes.

wendy markey

More on Markey MotorSport here: www.markeymotorsport.co.uk

About The Author

Rich Duisberg

Rich Duisberg* has had work published in Classic & Sportscar, Practical Performance Car, Modern Mini, Banzai, MogMag, Evo, GT Porsche, Complete Kit Car, Absolute Lotus, Alternative Cars, Classic Retro Modern, and elsewhere. Rich often appears on CBS’s XCAR and Carfection channels, and Motors TV, plus JayEmm on Cars, enthusing about historic motoring. His latest book (find his work on Amazon) was described by SniffPetrol as "hilarious", although he was also threatened with legal action by elderly DJ Tim Westwood. In his Midlands man cave is a 1972 Fiat 500, a Lotus Elise, a BMW barge and a vintage Royal Enfield pushbike. Previous machines of interest include an Mk1 MX5 (owned for 14 years!), an Alfa GTV6, a Porsche 968 and a Sinclair C5. The Metro (right) was bought for an experiment, and abandoned in Africa. "I am not getting in a car with him" -  said Le Mans winner, Derek Bell. *A nom-de-plume inspired by the BBC's League of Gentlemen.

5 Responses

      • Wendy Markey-Amey

        Hi Rich,
        I have just logged on to this by accident, and was delighted to find your kind comments! And to be a tally-Ho heroine of that particular month, a great honour!
        I am still an enthusiastic “petrol-head” and follow F1 but find moto GP more exiting! I regularly travel abroad with Phil Read, ex world champion motor cycle racer. He is invited to many events and I help him as his “manager!” amongst other duties, such as selling regalia etc. We have been to Charade circuit just recently, which held a 50th anniversary event at which Jackie Stewart was Guest of Honour. It was a great weekend! Sorry to “rabbit” on, but just to let you know that I am still very much alive and now living in South London!

      • Rich Duisberg
        Rich Duisberg

        How lovely to hear from you! Glad you’re enjoying life! If you drop us an email with an address I would be happy to send you the latest copy of our mag, now we’ve gone to print. Typist@motorpunk.co.uk will find us. Cheers!

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