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Vicky socks it to stock car status quo

Vicky Thorpe has smashed the stereotype of stock car racers on her way to winning the Classic Stock Car championship.

Think of a stock car racing driver and the image of a tattooed, hefty fellow with grease permanently ingrained in his skin springs to mind. However, Vicky Thorpe, the newly crowned Classic Stock Car champion at Angmering Raceway, West Sussex, could not be further from that image.

For an obvious start, she is the only female on a grid full of the aforementioned drivers and certainly lacks the usual ink and oil-begrimed appearance so beloved of the stock car racing fraternity.

However, Castrol R and four-star leaded petrol would appear to run in the veins of the newly crowned, and to date only, female Classic Stock Car champion. Her father Mick Thorpe started racing at the age of 17 in the sport's very early years and her cousin is a former Ministox champion.

Five years ago, she joined the "family business" behind the wheel of a 1956 MG Magnette, with which she amassed a considerable collection of trophies and the respect of any male stock car racer who tangled with her on the track.

"I don't feel it is any more difficult succeeding at stock car racing as a woman," she says. "I'm treated just the same on race day and wouldn't want it any other way."

After a close season's racing which, in keeping with the strong family element on the track, saw Vicky beat her father to the championship and along the way remove her boyfriend Paul Axell's Anglia from contention with judicious use of her 1964 Volvo's front bumper, Vicky feels she has proved that stock car racing is not just for the macho.

As for future racing plans, 28-year-old Vicky says she is happy racing classic stock cars but would not mind trying her hand at rallying in the future. That's an advance warning to the male drivers in that discipline.

Vicky runs Oval Legends Go Out Racing (OLGOR) vintage stock car club and would be happy to help any other women (or men) who are interested in experiencing the thrills of stock car racing as it was in the 1950s and 1960s. She may be reached at 07833 744 955 or or go along to Angmering Raceway which runs regular events for classic stock cars.


Vicky Thorpe, a classic stock car racer

Vicky Thorpe was not born when her classic stock car left the assembly line, but none the less the 25 year old girl racer can pilot the old beast around the track with the same kind of skill that the ‘old boys’ who grew up racing the classics first time around find hard to keep up with.

25 year old Vicky got into stock car racing watching her Dad Mickey Thorpe from an early age. Racing is definitely in the family genes as her cousin was British Ministox champ, so it was only a matter of time before she got behind the wheel.

Now piloting her 1800cc MGB powered 1956 MG Magnette Vicky mixes it up with the classic stock car pilots, including her dad, who in true stock car style does not let a little thing like family get in the way of being first under the chequered flag.

In fact, Vicky rates her best win as one against the old man after a bumper to bumper and neck to neck race over the last three laps. “I managed to squeeze up the inside and took the win,” she recalls, “it is not often that I beat him and it was a really good battle.”

On the other side of the stock car racing coin, Vicky recalls her worst crash as the one when her steering rack broke and she hit the very unforgiving safety fence at Angmering head on at about 40mph. “There’s no give to that fence and it stopped me dead,” she remembers, “besides the bent car my shoulders and neck certainly knew about it!”

Vicky rates Angmering Raceway, West Sussex as her favourite track, loving the long, fast and wide straights and sweeping top bends. However, she is quick to recall the perils of the pit bend. “No matter how many times you go round it the dreaded bottom corner (which is very sharp and tight) it always catches you out and what ever plans you had about your racing lines go right out of the window.”

Vicky plans to get some seat time in the Front Wheel Drive Saloon Rods at Angmering in the near future to see what it is like to drive a modern car around the track and how that compares with her “old 1956 beast.” On the classic stock car front, she is working with the rest of her team Oval Legends Go Out Racing (O.L.G.O.R.) to grow the club and get as many people on the circuit having as much fun as she clearly is. “I think classic stock car racing will grow,” she says, “as it becomes better known. There are still plenty of suitable cars out there, from abandoned classic restoration projects to retired stock cars and once you have the car built and keep it well maintained it is for life.”

Vicky has a few words of encouragement for any girl racers considering taking to the track behind the wheel of one of these ironed up old track warriors; “Go for it,” she says, “it is not as scary as you may think and the buzz is great and once you have done it you will have the bug for more. Plus, we’re just as good as the chaps out there and it’s great to give them a run for their money.”

To learn more about Oval Legends Go Out Racing contact them on 01435 863811 07833 744955

Angmering Raceway ( runs classic stock cars regularly, so do go along and see the bumper being put in classic style.




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