Jackson breaks old sterotypes

Rebecca Jackson hopes to compete in Le Mans within four years
Rebecca Jackson hopes to compete in Le Mans within four years
From left: Rich Janes and Joel Knight. Picture: Vernon Nash

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Rebecca Jackson insists she will eventually prove herself as a worthy racer at Le Mans – regardless of gender stereotypes.

The 30-year-old speedster, who hails from Horndean, will make a delayed seasonal bow in the Porsche Production Boxster Championship at Silverstone this weekend.

Jackson missed the opening round at Rockingham last month, with a technical issue taking her Porsche Boxster S out of contention.

But she sees the championship as a stepping stone to her ultimate dream of competing at the iconic 24-hour endurance race in France within the next four years.

And in the wake of some unhelpful recent comments from race legend Sir Stirling Moss on female drivers, Jackson is determined to break down those old-fashioned views.

Jackson explained: ‘We’ve had some recent comments from Stirling Moss saying women can’t be racing drivers because they don’t have the mental capacity.

‘But there is no point standing around arguing about it. You just need to get your trophies and show what you have done.

‘When I see comments like that, I just laugh – what else can you do?

‘It really doesn’t matter to me whether I am up against a man or a woman. I just want to win.

‘But you can get yourself worked up with those sorts of comments. I would rather just compete.’

While Moss’ comments were more directed towards Formula One hopefuls, his views echo some stark statistics of the most famous endurance race in the world.

In 90 years of Le Mans since its inaugural race in 1923, only 54 women have ever raced, with just 36 finishing.

Moss said: ‘I think they have the strength, but I don’t know if they’ve got the mental aptitude to race hard, wheel-to-wheel.

‘We’ve got some very strong and robust ladies, but, when your life is at risk, I think the strain of that in a competitive situation will tell when you’re trying to win.’

Jackson, however, clearly has the determination to succeed.

She said: ‘I’m on a four-year plan to compete at Le Mans. That is my goal.

‘If you are a single-seater driver, then Formula One is the pinnacle and where you want to be going.

‘But if you are a sports car driver, then Le Mans is the ultimate.

‘It’s the most iconic and probably the most difficult race in the world for endurance.’

Next on Jackson’s agenda, though, is the second round of the championship where she admits some catching up needs to be done after missing the opening round, with one race tomorrow and a second on Sunday.

She said: ‘I missed the first round of the championship but there are eight rounds in total.

‘So I will have to make up for it at all of the other circuits.

‘We normally have about 30 cars on the grid.

‘But they all know I won’t be bullied and I can’t be pushed off the track.

‘I’d like to go home with a piece of silverware from a podium finish and I hope I’m in with a shout.

‘Silverstone is a special circuit to me. It’s not the most technical circuit but it’s a very fast circuit and who doesn’t like a bit of speed, as well?’