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Old Lady Takes Up The Challenge To Drive A Renault Formula 1 Car

The year is 2017, and even though women fought for their rights for the most part of the 20th century (and won), sexism is still at large. And that’s a bit of a shame, especially in the world of the gearhead, chiefly because there are examples of women that equal or outdo the opposite sex in terms of driving skills.
Rosemary Smith driving Renault F1 car 11 photos
Photo: screenshot from YouTube
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One such woman is Rosemary Smith. Born in 1937 in Ireland, she’s a pensioner at first glance. But those who know better will point out that Rosemary is one of the world’s top woman rally drivers. What, you thought that Ireland’s claims to fame are merely whiskey and leprechauns?

Initially trained as a dress designer, Rosemary’s love for motorsport started when she entered a rally as a navigator. She didn’t like it, so the 79-year-old took up driving, winning the ladies prize on the Circuit of Ireland Rally. In 1965, Rosemary took an outright win in the Tulip Rally.

Those accolades and many more come as a result of her family and her father’s diligence to teach Rosemary how to drive at the young age of 11. This lady, then, certainly know how to drive better than most people out there, including me. But then again, the prospect of driving the wheels off an F1 car is something Rosemary never expected to happen. Yet it did.

The Renault Sport Formula One Team reached out to Mrs. Smith, asking if she would like to become “the oldest person to drive an 800 bhp race car.” And guess what? The lady took up the Herculean challenge, getting behind the wheel of the Renault Sport R.S. 17 at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France.

The hashtag #FollowYourPassion fits like a hand in glove with what Rosemary and Renault Sport pulled off with this get-together. The morals of this story, however, are: a) remember not to dismiss your elders; and b) never take women for granted for they are every bit as entitled and capable as men.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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