Behind the Wheel
With International Women’s Day having just been and gone, we thought we’d take the opportunity to celebrate one of racing’s most renowned female drivers, Katarina Kyvalova
So here goes…
Who Is Katarina Kyvalova?
For the past 15 years, Katarina Kyvalova has been collecting and racing classic cars. However, it was in 2014 when her career really started to take off after she competed in Portugal’s 24-hour race at Portimao (with an all-female team, we might add).
Since then, she’s been seen regularly at a number of prestigious racing events, including the Goodwood Revival in 2015 where she raced her Jaguar Cooper and took third place in the Freddie March Memorial Trophy. Then, in her Austin Healey 3000, she came third in class at the 2015 Spa Six Hours, before going on to race her E-type Jaguar at the Goodwood Members’ Meeting in the Graham Hill Trophy.
How Did She Get Started?
These are some achievements to have, but what made Kyvalova take to the racing track?
Well, it all started around 20 years ago when her own car broke down and an Austin Healey was loaned to her by a friend. After just two miles behind the wheel of her first classic car, Kyvalova knew that this was where her passion lay, so she went out and bought herself an Austin Healey 3000.
From there she started competing in rallies, starting out as a navigator before driving her Austin. Despite some of the Alps’ roads leading to a few white-knuckle rides, she loved the thrill of the race. And as she was welcomed into the racing community with open arms, she soon came to realise that racing was a way of life.
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Adding Style to the Track
As well as being admired for her skills on the track, Kyvalova is also a fashion icon in her own right, favouring classic pieces that are just like her cars.
As she herself says, “Every single rally, every single race, I’m in a Belstaff jacket.” Her, her car and her Belstaff jacket have driven thousands of miles together, meaning they all belong together. This has meant that her leather jackets have become a distinguished feature in her racing attire.
How Does Kyvalova Feel About Being on the Track with Men?
Well, according to a recent interview Kyvalova did for Belstaff, this isn’t about proving a point about how well women can race against men. All she’s bothered about is showcasing her passion for racing – that’s all that matters.