FROM CAREERDRIVEN: AN INDEPENDENT EDUCATIONAL PUBLISHING MAGAZINE

Route into rallying: Trailblazer

32-year-old holly bailey is a one-off. A female in the very male-dominated world of rallying, her grit and determination to go against the grain have served her well throughout her career, leading to a rich life full of fantastic experiences - if not a Michael Schumacher bank balance (yet!).

Holly went to an all-girl grammar school, having gone into care with foster parents at the age of 15. Her route into rallying was, shall we say, unorthodox. Against the advice of her art teacher, she wanted to become a graphic designer - and her decision was vindicated as she achieved a good grade at GCSE and studied graphic design at college for three years. This rebellious streak has served Holly well throughout her life.

After battling to get funding from social services to complete her course, Holly temped in factories and offices, and got experience doing accounts work. Doesn't sound quite like the wild child, but all the while Holly had been doing up her own car: a multi-coloured Mini Clubman she bought for £10 from a friend's mum!

So, you may be asking yourselves, how did the rallying thing come about? Holly started going out with a guy who was a mechanic in Formula 3000, which meant she started going to circuits. But it was the rally cars, rather than the single-seaters, that caught her eye once when she was marshalling. "It just looked so much more exciting than track racing," she says. So, Holly cancelled the singing lessons she'd signed up for and started training as a driver.

She started by co-driving in historic rallying and sprints, in which you can throw around your standard road car. Holly went along with her Nova, borrowing a set of tyres from a man she met there, and came third in class. She also enjoyed Autocross, in which a track is set out over fields and - depending on the weather - lighter, lower powered cars can do just as well as big, four-wheel drives.

Holly has now joined the British Rally Championship. This year she built her car from scratch, though not without the help of a team of female engineering students. Her flair for graphic design and experience in accounts, coupled with a qualification she got along the way in marketing, helped her secure sponsorship from the lingerie company Pretty Polly after she designed a mailshot targeting potentially interested businesses.

She is into outdoor sports that don't involve motors too, regularly going rock-climbing and abseiling. In fact, thinking beyond a career in rallying, Holly is training for a stunt licence. Apparently there's a shortage of women who can do driving stunts, but of course, this is second nature to Holly. She even worked on the new James Bond film, Casino Royale, recently!

"It's taken me a while to find my vocation, but it's been well worth it! Careers advisers would tell us to become a secretary, but that was never for me. There are so many opportunities out there just waiting for the right person that you can never imagine exist. Think outside the box and don't be afraid of trying anything, and you're sure to succeed. Talk to people who know and don't listen to those who don't!"

FURTHER INFORMATION

Does Holly's career path sound like fun to you? If you'd like help and support - especially if you're interested in getting into driving or race engineering - you can contact her via pollygirls@hotmail.co.uk. For general advice on careers in motorsport, try the Motorsport Academy at www.motorsportacademy.org

Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Assistant - IT Channel - Graduate

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a Value-Added I...

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Guru Careers: Junior Web Developer

£18 - 22k (DOE) + Benefits & Stock Options: Guru Careers: A Junior Developer /...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor