When he said “You’re an anomaly,” I didn’t have a clue if it was something you got from eating a bad clam or a good thing, but I knew when Mike Maier (mikemaierinc.com) talks, others wisely listen and don’t ask questions. We’d been chatting up our sport—autocross—over a few beverages and he’s said this about me twice so I looked it up. It’s all good.
At autocross events, from local stuff to Goodguys to even the National Championships, female competitors aren’t expected to straight-time those with ding-dongs. I can’t tell you how many Goodguys runs I’ve made, hauling the mail around the loop-de-loops, and finishing up with a class-winning time to often hear as I’m exiting the course, “Oh my GOD!! That’s a GIRL driving that car.” Yep, it sure is. Miss Anomaly. And I have to give credit to others with estrogen as there are quite a few that can stop a clock and take no prisoners while slithering their way through a maze of cones which, to me, means there’s a bunch of us anomalies out there. And as a female, lots of other women look to me for reassurance and encouragement as what we do with our cars on the Goodguys postage-stamp-sized lot is nothing short of empowering. Horsing a 3,500-pound Camaro with almost 600 rwhp isn’t for the faint of heart, and when I hear “There’s NO WAY I can do that,” I respond with “Yes … you CAN do that” and extoll the benefits and the fun they’ll be having with whatever they drive. Our sport is a wonderful way to help gals learn much about limitations, and growth, in themselves and their cars. So, as you can guess by now, this is for you, the gals. And as the readership of this publication is about 2 percent estrogen-powered, it’s up to you with the ding-dongs to spread the word of these words to those without.
So it begs the question … is there a difference between the sexes? I’ve been asked this often and usually reply that a car hasn’t a clue if the driver has testicles or ovaries, nor does it care. What a car does look at is how it’s being driven. Yes, upper body strength matters, especially so if you’re trying to muscle something massive through a tight slalom sans power steering, but for the most part us girls can do just fine. In some autocross groups, there are separate classes just for us ladies, while in others it’s heads-up against the rest, with the clock being the judge. I sometimes question this—as previously mentioned—because the car, being a mechanical thing, hasn’t a clue who or what is behind the wheel. Sure, the “stick and ball” stuff has gender separation, but I’ve never heard of the Women’s Indianapolis 500 nor gender difference for other professional motorsports other than Solo (autocross). And I’m not talking about the Powder Puff novelty stuff at the local roundy-rounds. The only time I saw one, the front-runner Puff couldn’t comprehend that shifting outta First might be a good thing, and her effort was complete with flames, scattering the engine on Lap 2. She got a standing ovation with more than a few (hundred) laughs. The car owner wasn’t one of these. This, to me, makes our march assbackwards and does nuthin’ for our credibility and talent.
And the answer? It’s a YES … men are more forceful, they challenge limits, fight wars and conquer small countries, they protect, they squash bugs, and pee standing up. Gals … we nurture, heal, are fixers and soothers, we keep the peace and fires burning on the home front, have the “Mommy gene,” give life and preserve it, and have a really hard time properly using a urinal. Don’t believe me about the bug thing? Pay attention the next time you watch professional golf. Tiger, Phil, et al, will mash that pillbug flat if it’s in their putting line while Annika and Michelle mark their ball before moving Mr. Pill to a safer spot. I’ve watched them do it.
Yes, gals, you can do motorsports. Any type of motorsports. I recommend baby steps and starting with something that is kinder and gentler with four wheels (definitely not a 600hp Camaro), and get help from any of us with experience. Us with experience don’t bite and we want our sport to grow, more women to enjoy cars and the events that make them fun. Give this a year or two and you’ll be wanting car parts for Christmas instead of Tiffany boxes. And who knows … you may just be the next “anomaly.”
Editor’s Note: Mary Pozzi is a part-time freelance writer and 12-time SCCA Solo National Champion.