The second woman to ever attempt to qualify for a Formula 1 Grand Prix, Divina Galica, is celebrating her 65th birthday today!
British-born Galica is jointly known for her exploits in motorsport and Olympic skiing, for which she was awarded an Order of the British Empire membership.
By the age of 20, Galica competed in her first Olympic Games competition at Innsbruck in 1964, representing her country in the downhill skiing and slalom events, and also competed in the 1968 Grenoble and 1972 Sapporo games. She also held the British women’s downhill skiing speed record, averaging 125mph.
Accepting an invitation to compete in a celebrity auto race, Galica surprised everyone with her talent behind the wheel, which prompted her to pursue this activity professionally.
Taking up motorsport in karts, she moved to Formula 2 and then Formula 1. Her first championship outing came at the 1976 British Grand Prix, where she failed to qualify. She made two further attempts for Hesketh at the 1978 Argentine and Brazilian Grands Prix – just missing the grid for the Argentine round – before deciding to call it a day.
In between, Galica competed in the British Formula 1 Series between 1978-80 – better known as Aurora F1 – achieving a podium finish.
Since then, Galica returned to skiing and represented the British team at the 1992 Olympic Games in speed skiing, in addition to working for the Skip Barber Racing school and later the iRacing group.
[Image via F1 Nostalgia]