Former Racing Driver & Non-Executive Board Member of Motorsport UK, Helen Bashford-Malkie joins BRIT
We are delighted that Helen has joined our BRIT Ambassador family and is championing the BRIT Challenge to support and improve young adult and student mental health and fitness throughout the UK.
Helen is former Chair of the British Women Racing Drivers’ Club (BWRDC) and ex-racer with forty two years of experience in the Automotive and Motorsport Industry and her name is synonymous with historic motor racing in particular. Helen is also an Ambassador for the BWRDC in 2022, as they celebrate their Diamond Anniversary Year.
During Helen’s twenty-plus years racing, she has driven every type of car including Formula One and also headed up two famous racing marques in the UK. Helen has had a long and distinguished career at the wheel of many race cars, competing as an international racing driver from 1979 to 2015 and she is the first and only woman on the podium in an FIA Formula 1 race.
Helen has won numerous awards including the BWRDC Jamieson Award, for Britain’s Fastest Woman Racing Driver, many times. She also won The Classic & Sportscar Champagne Gosset Award for Most Sparkling Drive in Historic Motorsport, the Lord Wakefield Trophy for Achievement in Motorsport and was a Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year Inspiration Award nominee.
Helen did make a return to competition in 2015, with her last outing at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, driving the Chevron B1 in celebration of the marque’s 50th Anniversary.
“As former Chair of the British Women Racing Drivers’ Club, a Non-Executive Board Member of Motorsport UK, and through my work with schools, colleges and universities, I am acutely aware of the increase in mental health challenges that many young adults, students and British Racing Drivers face in their lives. Preventing and supporting young adult and student mental health is vital and requires a multi-agency and organisation approach. We must do more now to proactively support students and young adults in order to avoid them facing long-term mental health difficulties. This is why the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) Vision resonates with me and I am proud to be a BRIT Ambassador.
It is great to see that BRIT are forging partnerships and special relationships across the education, sport and charity sectors to have a positive UK-wide impact on young adult and student mental health and fitness. I very much hope that our Motorsport Governing Bodies will work closely with BRIT as it is clear we have shared values and the mental health of our young racing drivers, many of whom would be outstanding as BRIT Ambassadors, is just as important.
I am delighted that BRIT are delivering the annual BRIT Challenge as a feelgood February fundraiser for every university, college, specialist college and Students’ Union to enter teams and encourage student and staff participation. I hope that University Technical Colleges throughout the UK will also enter teams and take on the BRIT Challenge.
I am thrilled to be part of the BRIT Ambassador family to promote the BRIT Challenge, destigmatise mental health and champion equality, diversity and inclusion. I urge my fellow British Racing Drivers, from all disciplines, to join the BRIT Ambassador family and assist in encouraging universities, colleges and students to take part in the annual BRIT Challenge. I would be delighted to support and encourage students and staff at The Open University and Crewe Engineering and Design University Technical College as they take on their BRIT Challenge”.
Former Racing Driver and Non-Executive Board Member of Motorsport UK
Helen was Group CEO of Chevron Racing Cars between 1981 and 2016, responsible for all business aspects of the various Chevron companies. This involved implementing, systems and processes as a successful racing car manufacturer, race team and Niche Car road car manufacturer. She grew the brand’s recognition and continued strengthening of Heritage repair, restoration and race preparation within the Historic Motor Racing Sector. She designed and led new road car projects: Chevron B1 Mk2 and Chevron GR8 GT4 and GT3 race car projects from concept to completion.
In 2014, Helen graduated from The Open University with a Bachelor of Science degree.
Between 2015 and 2017, Helen was Managing Director of Lola Heritage Limited, who manufactured, repaired, restored and supplied parts and archive, for all pre-1990 Lola Racing Cars.
Helen was a Committee Member of the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) between 2014 and 2017.
Between 2016 and 2018, Helen was a Trustee and Governor of the Crewe Engineering and Design University Technical College (UTC).
Between 2000 and 2013, Helen was Chair of the British Women Racing Drivers’ Club (BWRDC). The Club was formed in 1962 by Mary Wheeler MBE, with the aim of promoting and supporting women in all forms of motorsport. With over 50 years of history, their members compete for some of the most prestigious championships available to women. In 2013, Helen stepped down as Chair of the BWRDC after 13 years, during which time she established, along with her Committee, the BWRDC GoldStars Awards, secured strong links with the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) and a unique partnership for any club with MOTORS TV.
Since 2016, Helen has been a Senior Consultant for Chevron Racing Cars.
With over forty years in the Automotive & Motorsport Industries, Helen has been an Automotive and Motorsport Consultant for Engineering, Technical and Business since 2016.
Helen has been Chair of ProtoEV since 2018, ProtoEV are a competitive national Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programme for students at school, college and/or university, converting petrol Karts into Electric Karts, together with The Blair Project. Helen also been an Ambassador for H & H Classic Car Auctioneers since 2018.
In 2019, Helen became a Non-Executive National Board Member of Motorsport UK; the national membership organisation and governing body for four-wheel motorsport in the UK, representing competitors, volunteers, clubs and fans. As a member focussed organisation, Motorsport UK embrace a diverse community that includes 720 affiliated motor clubs, 45,000 competition licence holders, 10,000 volunteer marshals, 4,000 officials and a legion of passionate motorsport spectators and fans. They are a founding member of the world governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).