My teammate Chrissy Mittura kicks ass. Let’s just start with that. I met her 12 years ago when I joined her team that was racing a 1958 Wartburg sedan. They won it is an essay contest. That’s why I am writing this because Chrissy is in another contest; The Car Chix 2021 Women of Motorsport Calendar, and I would like you to vote for her.
Like me, she did not grow up in a “car house”. She came to the gearhead world as a young adult and as a veteran of the famed H2O fest in Maryland. Since then she has rallied, auto-crossed, and raced wheel to wheel in several series. What has she raced? How about a Rolls Royce? A Citroen? Sure, she’s run BMWs, Hondas but also a 1972 Sea Sprite dropped onto a Chevy S-10 chassis. Where has she run? Both coasts, all of the great tracks Watkins, Laguna, and NCM along with another 2 dozen smaller venues. She has run the One Lap of America. During the pandemic with her team, she swapped a 4.8 LS into a 300Z and caged her Mazda 3 she purchased new. It is now a dedicated, but still a street-legal race car. No worries, her current dailies are an NSX and twin-turbo Mercedes wagon.
She is measured and organized. For each new track, she draws a map and researches the nuances of each. Her on-track record is almost without a blemish. No small feat I assure you. She races without drama, without ego, and more times than not when she brings the car in for a driver change, it’s several spots up on the leaderboard from when she got in. She has won national championships and wrenched all night in desperation to fix a busted car. She co-hosts our amateur endurance racing podcast, Everyone Racers. She’s reported on cars shows, SEMA, and Porsche press events. She’s led women’s auto rallies. Chrissy can have you laughing until your stomach hurts, will feed you into a coma, and her workout will exhaust most fitness buffs. She hikes, skis, restored an old boat, and every haircut she has gotten this decade was donated to a cancer charity to make wigs.
Chrissy is generous to a fault. She notoriously feeds new teams who failed to plan ahead as well as advises them on future efforts. She hates disorganization and inefficiency with a white-hot passion, but doesn’t complain, she fixes it. At Laguna Seca two years ago, the track had one gate worker in the rain signing in participants. She jumped from the rental, grabbed a couple of clipboards, and recruited others to streamline the process. Moments later, the line was humming along and moving so quickly. More than ½ the teams thought she worked there.
She is a driver first. No pink suit. No festooned helmet. If you’re the type bothered by women being better than you, fear not. You won’t know she is a lady when she passes you, and she probably will. During my brief time as a high school teacher, I used Chrissy as an example of what is possible, to help convince young women that their paths were not predetermined by gender. My favorite story was at the Laguna incident above. An older driver suggested she hike her way up to the corkscrew so she could “…get a good view of the race.” With her trademark illuminating smile, she politely explained she would see it through the windscreen of her race car.
She is certainly not unique as a woman in motorsport, and thank god. There are a number of amazing professionals in the motorsports world. But even at the amateur level, the racing hobby is not quite there yet. This past summer, my female student at the Vintage Auto Racing Associations 2 day school was brought in mid-session by another instructor because he wanted to review some items. I watched him all weekend, and he didn’t do that to a single male student.
Chrissy is part of the wave that will help us all turn that corner and make racing what it should be; a community of like-minded enthusiasts defined by their love of the sport. In fact, this whole calendar from Car Chix is almost exclusively a celebration of drivers and true enthusiasts. For that reason alone you should go and vote. But yes, I am going to ask you to vote for my friend, co-host, and teammate. She would never ask for herself, and if she sees this, I am probably in a small bit of trouble.
But I am asking because I know her. Any young future gearhead who looks at this calendar would be hard-pressed to find a better role model. She doesn’t earn her living racing. Like the majority of us, she spends her money to do this because she loves it. She is a pure enthusiast, and that’s why I am asking for you to vote for her.
It is a small pain. You have to enter an email address and then get a code. You can vote every four hours. Chrissy is the only endurance racer I see in the contest, and that certainly plays into the diversity we all want to see. If you disagree and see another racer you like more, please vote for her.
But let’s get more aficionados into motorsports. The link is below. Thanks for your time.