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's drivel regularly appears in Practical Performance Car and GT Porsche magazines. He has also written for Classic & Sportscar, MogMag, Classic Performance and Retro, Banzai, Evo, and Modern Mini. He also did a book no-one bought. His hungover fizzog also often appears on CBS’s Carfection channel enthusing about historic motoring. Le Mans winner Derek Bell once refused to get in Rich's Morgan Three Wheeler with him at the wheel. Currently amongst the detritus in his garage is a 1972 Fiat 500 Abarth, a fat BMW and a Lotus Elise. Previous machinery includes a Porsche 968, an Alfa GTV V6 and a dreadful Sinclair C5. He also owns a vintage Royal Enfield pushbike.

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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