Vanina Ickx

Vanina Ickx

Vanina Ickx (born on February 16, 1975, in Brussels) is a Belgian racecar driver. She is the daughter of Belgian Formula One driver Jacky Ickx.

She started racing at a relatively late age, entering the BMW Compact Cup in 1996, a sub-division to the national touring car championship, Belgian Procar, partnering the Cup's most successful entrant, Stéphane De Groodt. For 1997 she got a Cup racer of her own, before she moved up to the major class in 1998, which runs to Super Production regulations. She shared a BMW 320i with another girl racer, Sylvie Delcour, but the partnership wasn't to last long as she soon got herself a transfer to the more competitive Renault team.

She scored her first podium that year, partnered by French ace Franck Lagorce, but on the downside, when sharing a car with her father Jacky, she crashed out of the Spa 24 Hours, admittedly by her own fault. She remained a part of the Renault team in 1999, but it was harder to make herself stand out against total Peugeot domination.

In 2000 she joined the latter team, resulting in a career-high third place overall in that year's Spa 24 Hours. That same year she would also score her first victory, in the Ferrari Challenge.

2000 was also the first year when Vanina did not have a full-time program, so she ended up profiling herself as a bit of an all-rounder. Already having participated in two Rally Raid events the year before, she entered the gruelling Dakar for the first time, co-driving with her father, Jacky. Since then she has entered the raid two more times, the last time being in 2002.

In 2001 she tried her hand at single-seater racing for the first time, participating in the US-based Formula 2000. The rest of the year she filled with guest appearances in races all round Europe: the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Belgian Toyota Yaris Cup, the Porsche Supercup and the Spa 24 Hours.

With the exception of the Formula 2000 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Vanina's 2002 racing schedule was pretty similar to the one she had in 2001.

Her studies demanding more of her time as she neared graduation, 2003 proved to be a rather quiet year with participation in the Le Mans and Spa-Francorchamps classics, another Ferrari Challenge event and, last but not least, a guest-outing in the Formula Renault V6 Eurocup at the Portugueuse Estoril track.

For 2004 she once again had a full-time program, this time in the Belgian GT championship Belcar, while not easing up on the usual guest outings in international events.The Belcar campaign proved successful as the year ended with Vanina taking home the Ladies Trophy. She scored another victory (only her second) in the Ferrari Challenge, while occupying the last step on the podium at the end of her one-off participations in the Oman Desert Rally Raid and the Monza round of the short-lived Formula X championship. She notched up a class-victory in the Spa 24 Hours and made her (seemingly obligatory) guest appearance in the Porsche Supercup at the Belgian Grand Prix.

2005 saw Vanina continue in the Belcar championship, racing the same spiced-up Mini Cooper she did the year before, and she netted her first class victory in the Tourisme division.At the same time, having made her debut in the Le Mans Endurance Series (LMES) the year before in the baby GT-class, she entered the main division impressively by finishing third three times in a row, driving the Rollcentre Dallara LMP sportscar.Another class victory came her way at the Chinese round of the FIA GT Championship, racing a Belgian-made Gillet Vertigo in the invitation class.

Thanks to her outstanding performances in the LMES, Vanina was snapped up by Audi to race in the German Touring Car Championship DTM in 2006, but she didn't do so well and was replaced by Katherine Legge for 2008.


External links

* [ Official website]

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