As a former British racing driver and presenter of Top Gear, Vicki Butler Henderson is a recognisable and renowned figure in the automotive industry with a number of notable titles to her name. Currently, she presents Fifth Gear and the Auto Express podcast.
Hendersons’ love for racing began 12 years old when she started racing 100cc karts, however she had many years of experience behind the wheel driving tractors and other vehicles on her father’s farm prior to this. During her very first race, she was lapped by a more experienced David Coulthard at the time. Just one month after her 17th birthday, Henderson passed her driving test and went on to purchase the sportiest car she could afford at the time – a second-hand MG Metro! With a rev counter that reminded her of authentic racing cars and flashy red seat belts, it was a match made in heaven.
At the same time, Vicki’s career developed and she progressed from racing karts to cars. Whilst completing her A-Levels, Henderson took up a part-time weekend job as a racing instructor at Silverstone which helped her raise the funds required to compete in the now-defunct Formula First single-seater championship.
Over the years, Henderson has shown the nerve and skills to partake in a race every single year in a variety of different sports cars. A few examples of her races include:
- The Carrera Cup in a Porsche 911
- The Clio Cup in a Renault Clio
- A rally in a Peugeot 206
- A Citroen Saxo Ice Race
Henderson has also raced in a number of notable cars including a Caterham, Renault Spider, Radical, VW Golf and Proton saloon car, and in 2004 she became the first woman in the history of the marque to win a Masterati race during the Maserati Trofeo support race at the British F1 GP.
One of Vicki’s long-lasting ambitions since the age of 12 was to race a Ferrari and this dream became a reality in October 2009. Competing at Brands Hatch, Henderson raced in the F430 Challenge car which has a 4.3-litre V8 engine that produces a powerful 495bhp! During the two 25-minute long races, she finished 2nd and 3rd in Class which meant that she went on to secure two trophies.
When it comes to endurance races, Henderson doesn’t disappoint either. During the 24-hour Britcar race at Silverstone, she managed to achieve a Class win in a Honda Accord in 2016 as well as an outing in a Citroen 2CV for 24-hours in Ireland. Vicki has also competed in the Britcar 6-hour race on the Silverstone GP track in a Renault Clio which only goes to show that there’s nothing this racing legend cannot do.
Henderson holds a Race International C licence and considers herself a proud Ambassador for Go Motorsport. This initiative was set-up by the UK’s motorsport governing body in order to ensure that everybody has access to each and every area of motorsports.
Exactly one month after my 17th birthday I passed my driving test and bought a secondhand MG Metro because it was the sportiest car I could afford, and because it had a rev counter, as all racing cars do. Oh yes, and red seatbelts.
At that age I also progressed from racing karts to cars where I competed in the now defunct Formula First single seater championship. And to help pay for it, I had a weekend job as a racing instructor at Silverstone, fitting my A-Levels around it all.
Since then, I have raced every year in a variety of cars including a Porsche 911 in the Carrera Cup, Renault Clio in the Clio Cup, a Caterham, Renault Spider, Radical, VW Golf, Proton saloon car, a Citroen Saxo ice race and a rally in a Peugeot 206.
My most notable racing stat is that in 2004 I became the first woman to win a Maserati race in the history of the marque, in the Maserati Trofeo support race at the British F1 GP.
And, in October 2009, I raced a Ferrari for the first time ever – having wanted to race one since I was 12. The F430 Challenge car has a 4.3-litre V8 engine that produces 495bhp, and in the two 25-minute races at Brands Hatch, I finished 2nd and 3rd in Class. Two trophies!
Endurance races have included a Class win in a Honda Accord at the 24 hour Britcar race at Silverstone in 2006, and an outing in a Citroen 2CV in Ireland for 24 hours. Most recently I’ve competed in the Britcar 6 hour race in a Renault Clio on the Silverstone GP track (October 2009).
I currently hold a Race International C licence and am proud to be an Ambassador for Go Motorsport – an initiative set up by the UK’s motorsport governing body to give everyone greater access to all areas of motorsport.