historicracing
Liane Engeman
Liane Engeman
© hr with thanks to Liane
NETHERLANDS

Born
24 / 3 / ?
Top female Dutch racing driver, she drove in the European Touring Car Championship as a works driver with Ford and with Auto Delta scoring some fine top-five finishes at the Zandvoort, Nurburgring and Spa.

Liane started racing in Holland in 1965 with a Formula Vee 1200 which was given to her by the Dutch Racing School.

She then moved to England to work for Alan Mann Racing. This gave her the chance to do more racing. Maily driving saloon cars, she raced Ford Anglias, Hillman Imps and Mini Coopers. She also continued in 1200cc Formual Vee, holding the lap record at Silverstone until it was eventually broken by one Emmerson Fittipaldi.

She was invited to race in America in 1967 driving at Sebring in the 12 Hour race with Janet Guthrie in a Matra Djet 5S, we won the up 2 litter class. She also raced the Richard Bond Ford Anglia in the European Touring Car Championship

At Sebring in 1968 she raced a Javelin again sharing the driving Janet Guthrie. The race turned out to be a bit of a disaster. After 8 hours, Paul Hawkins, who apparently was the son of a Protestant minister was leading in his GT40 when he was in collision with a Porsche that had swereved to aviod the Engeman/Guthrie Javelin.

Hawkeye was not amused and reportedly said: "It wasn't the Porsche fault. It was those ******* girls. They drove as though they were going to a ******* funeral. The place for a woman is the ******* kitchen. When shes not in the ******* kitchen she should be tending the ******* cradle. When shes not doing that she should be in bed."

This outburst was reported all over the world and caused much controversy. Both Engemann and Guthrie were very competent racing drivers and Hawkins' comments were more based on the fact that they were women.

After Sebring she raced in the Bahamas in the Speed Week, finishing came 3rd in the 1200cc Formula Vee race.

It is widely reported that Liane drove at Sebring in 1969 with Guthrie in an Austin Healey. However she tells us that this was not the case. She did team up later that year with the late Bob Wollek in the Alfa Romeo Benelux entered 1750 Berlina in the 24 hour race at Spa-Francorchamps winning the Group One class.

In 1970 she travelled to Brazil to race in the BUA Formula Ford Trophy. Back in Europe she raced the Alfa Benelux Alfa Romeo 2000 GTA in the ETCC Spa 24 Hour race with Christine Beckers but went out with a broken con-rod. She also drove in the next round of the ETCC in the Frami Racing Holland Ford Escort Twin Cam.

In 1971 she was due to race in the Grosser Preis der Tourenwagen in the Autodelta S.p.A.Alfa Romeo 2000 GTAm at the Nürburgring Nordschleife but was unable to compete due to illness. Her place was taken by Hans Akersloot but he never got to drive as he was replaced by Toine Hezemans as his car crashed after just two laps. For the next round at she drove the Alpina BMW 2800 CS with Christine Beckers but once again they were sidelined by mechanical failure. She switched teams again for the Zandvoort Trophy, joining Team Radio Veronica in their Alfa Romeo 1300 GTA Junior. This was Hezemans’ national championship car and, with support from Hezemans in the pits, she finished a fine third overall. The next round was the Paul Ricard race, run as two 6 hour heats 2. With the prospect of big prize money, the field was joined by a few stars including Graham Hill and John Surtees in an RS Capri. Liane was partnered by Vincenzo Pooky Cazzago in the Brescia Corse Alfa Romeo 1300 GTA Junior. I have her finishing with a third in class but have been unable to confirm this.

She then drove an Abarth 2000SP later that month in the Dunnes Trophy at Zandvoort, a round of the European Sports Car Championship. She finished a very respectable 7th overall.

For 1972 she entered the Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft (DTM) driving a Ford Capri RS. In the first round at the Eifelrennen Nürburgring, her Bulova sponsored car came fourth. But after a 7th in the next round at Hockenheim she was not seen in the series again that year.
 
In 1973 she was entered into the Spa 24 Hour race with Christine Beckers in the Opel Gulf Racing Team Opel Commodore GS but found out that she was pregnant and withdrew.

© hr with thanks to Liane