"Here is the inspirational life story of a woman who has proved that size doesn't matter in the world of motorsport. Joy Rainey, a person of restricted growth, has competed in circuit races, hurtled up hill climbs in single-seaters, broken records, driven the London to Brighton veteran car run - and in 2004 tackled the London to Sydney Rally in an old Morris Minor. A personality of giant stature, she demonstrates what can be achieved, given innate talent, determination and charm."
Article about Joy Rainey written in February 1986 by a Motoring Journalist (not me).
Even ten years ago it was becoming increasingly difficult to win a class at an event with a road going car, as highly developed racing machinery was already making an indelible mark. However, Joy quickly raised a few eyebrows, for her handling of the Jaguar produced excellent times, even to the extent of claiming placings within the very competitive modified sports car class.
Having completed three seasons with the Jaguar, Joy was determined to progress within the sport and set herself a very high standard, the outright ladies hill record at all the major venues. Obviously something much more powerful than the Jaguar was required if this target were to be achieved and so a front engined Dastle sports racing car was purchased.
The results achieved were almost like a fairy tale come true, between 1979 and 1981 Joy never finished lower than third in the highly competitive over 1,600c.c. sports racing car class, taking on the men and at times giving them more than something to think about.
The performance of the Murrain, which was constantly developed by Murray (even to the extent of being fitted with a turbocharger) set the hillclimb world alight and the original aim was easily achieved, Joy capturing the outright ladies hill records with almost devastating performances.
Although totally different in concept to the record breaking Murrain, Joy quickly tamed the historic machine, tyre squealing to the finish line on many occasions, with such prowess, that by the end of the year she had beaten all the men to the title of Castrol Midland Hillclimb Classic Car Champion, a tremendous achievement indeed.
Whilst the Alfa was great fun, it was obviously much slower than the Murrain, a fact which Joy found difficult to live with, especially as she would like to contest the RAC Hillclimb Championship.
As this series caters for the fastest racing cars, a new machine was necessary and so during 1985 Joy took a gigantic step and purchased the extremely successful Pilbeam from the Chase Web Offset Team and fitted a 2.3 litre Hart engine.
Only a couple of outings were possible in 1985 as the season was fast drawing to a close when the rebuild of the car was completed, but Joy immediately showed that she will find no difficulty in consistently challenging in the British Hillclimb Championship.
Joy successfully campaigned the Pilbeam from 1986 to 1992 but since 1993 has spent most of her time devoted to her second passion of raising public awareness of Aboriginal Australian culture and working to improve the social conditions of Aboriginal people.
To keep her hand in motor sport Joy occasionally drives the Alfa Romeo 6C and Cooper-Norton as driven during the 1950’s by her father Murray to become Australian Formula 3 Champion 1956,1957,1958.
2003 written by Joy
We restored the Pilbeam in 2001 in time to participate in the MAC Centenary Celebration event at Shelsley Walsh. After an eight year lay-off from single-seater competing I thought this would be the beginning of a comeback. But it wasn’t.
For some strange reason I wasn’t prepared to concentrate on just one discipline of motor sport any more. I wanted to participate in more.
The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run in November 2001 provided me with a taste of what early motoring was like. Haynes Motor Museum let me loose in their 1901 Clement. (You can also read about that adventure in the Telegraph). Unfortunately the Clement didn’t make it all the way to Brighton. I’d really like the opportunity of driving in the London to Brighton Run once again.
Oh well, perhaps some day! But next time I will definitely arrive at the finishing line in Madeira Drive, Brighton.
Written by Joy Rainey Friday, 09 May 2008
At the opening round of the British Hill-Climb Championship it was also the 50th birthday of the Prescott Marshal's Club. Some of the drivers took exotic cars to give the marshals rides up the hill at lunchtime. It was an opportunity to get my 1936 Alfa out of winter mothballs. Although the weather forecast was dreadful, the day turned out glorious and the run to Prescott through the country lanes was rather exhilerating and I realised just why I've always been a petrolhead.
I've not competed at Prescott since 2004 so I really enjoyed my stints up the hill and hope the marshals did not get scared! I alway appreciate the role of the marshals at motorsport events. They are all volunteers who sometimes travel far to attend and occasionally have to endure the wrath of the competitor or spectator (motorsport can be stressful at times). Meetings cannot takes place without marshals and I must admit, the group at Prescott are really a jolly lot who enjoy what they do.
Thanks guys for all the the assistance when I was competing.