Vicki Butler Henderson


Vicki is renowned in the automotive industry as she’s been a British racing driver, former presenter of Top Gear and current presenter of Fifth Gear and the Auto Express podcast.
I started racing 100cc karts from the age of 12, having had many years driving tractors and anything else that moved on my father’s farm. In my first kart race, a more experienced David Coulthard lapped me. You won’t read that on his website…

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.