A Fife businesswoman has roared into the finals of a UK-based international contest to find the next female motor racing champion.
Viki Wright, who runs Crail Raceway in the East Neuk of Fife, has made it to the final 50 of Formula Woman.
The 53-year-old, who lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, competed against 800 other female drivers from 26 countries across the world.
Having carried out her official assessment at Knockhill in Fife on November 1, she’s now had it confirmed that she’s into the finals of the televised competition, with the next stage due to take place at a yet to be determined race track in the UK on March 2 and 3.
Viki told The Courier she is “incredibly proud” to have made it through to the finals.
Having originally entered thinking she would “love to be part of this being a petrol head”, she’s now determined to progress as far as she can, not only for herself, but also in memory of her late father David and her late brother Willie who used to race themselves.
“I’m incredibly proud because I’ve worked so hard,” she said.
“I feel really positive. I was just going to be happy if I got through.
“But now I won’t be happy I don’t think unless I get to the very end.
“It’s been a very positive distraction taking into account everything I’ve had to deal with following the passing of dad last April and really accepting now that I’ve lost all three of them – dad, mum and my brother Willie.”
With assessments taking place at race tracks around the UK and world during the autumn, Viki explained the Knockhill assessment featured a number of stages.
Competitors were split into groups and each did three laps in a Vauxhall e-Corsa.
After some fun go-karting and a mini-boot camp to test fitness, they were assessed on camera with three-minute media interviews.
They also had to complete a theory test which would have been used in the event of a tie-break.
After scores from competitors worldwide had been collated, Viki received confirmation that she was through to the next round alongside finalists from as far afield as Brazil, Chile, Australia, Jamaica, Kuwait, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, USA, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Italy.
As she concentrates on building up her physical fitness ahead of the next round, the next stage will feature a “variety of tests and challenges”.
On the second day, 15 of the 50 finalists will be selected for the “shoot out” which will take place the following week and from there 10 will be selected to go to an unknown as yet destination in Europe.
Four winners and two reserves will then be selected as the winners.
Viki explains that throughout the process, there’s also been a huge focus on the business and marketing side of becoming a racer.
Having secured Manchester-based Awesome GTI as a second sponsor last week, alongside her existing sponsor Laird Performance, it’s “all about the PR/media” as well, she says, and raising the profile of the whole competition.
She’s contacting Anglia TV in her area and is also looking to get more coverage in Scotland, including radio coverage.
“The ultimate aim is about raising the profile of women in motorsport,” she added, “because there’s not that many high profile drivers out there. Women have always thought ‘let’s leave it to the men’.”
No stranger to being competitive, Viki played lacrosse for Scotland while at school and toured the USA with the Scottish lacrosse team.
She also rode horses for the Working Hunter Scotland championships at Scone.
She’s delighted, however, that aged 53, her competitive edge hasn’t deserted her.
“I had a post up on Instagram recently and someone asked the question ‘what’s more important, winning or passion?’ My response was ‘a passion for winning!’
“I’ve always been competitive. The fact that I have a real chance now is just spurring me on. I’m absolutely buzzing!”
To follow Viki Wright on Instagram go to @formulawoman.vikiwright