Annie Seel set to compete in an all-women’s rally event in China
Annie Seel says her goal is to inspire more women to experience motorsport.
Swedish rally driver, Annie Seel has always been somewhat of a women’s pioneer in motorsport, accustomed to going head-to-head with the men.
Now, for the first time in her illustrious off-road racing career, she’ll get the chance to compete in an all-women’s event when she lines up for the first ever Gazelles Morocco-China rally. And she can’t wait.
“My passion in life is off-road racing,” she explained.
“I have, for almost 20 years, raced around the world, including eight Dakar rallies on both motorcycles and in cars. Now for the first time I will be part of an all-women’s rally, and also explore a new continent – an adventure and challenge I could not resist.”
Seel will be racing alongside Jeanette James, four-time winner of the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles at this month’s initial promo event for the Gazelles Morocco-China, in Naiman Province, China from Oct 23-26.
Having started her racing career back in 1987, Seel is the only professional driver taking part in this month’s promo event.
Seel brings to the Gazelles Morocco-China plenty of years of experience, and a list of impressive achievements. She’s not only the first woman to have raced both the Dakar Rally and the Baja 1000 on a motorcycle and in a car – not many men can make that claim – she also set a world altitude record by riding a motorcycle beyond base camp and up to 5305m on Mount Everest.
All those skills will be put to the test in the Ke’erquin Desert.
There, 10 teams featuring drivers from 12 different countries will be armed simply with a map, pencil and compass and have to plot their way across the course to reach as many checkpoints as possible and cover as few kilometres in the process.
While that will certainly provide a challenge, Seel is accustomed to taking on seemingly insurmountable tasks.
“When I finished my first ever Dakar rally back in 2002, it was my biggest achievement standing on the podium at Lac Rose. I had overcome so much, including a fractured wrist, mechanical problems, rainstorms and fever – but I still reached the finish line. I felt I was reborn as a super hero.”
But the Gazelles Morocco-China is going to offer the 51-year-old Swede something she hasn’t experienced before.
“I have never raced there before. I imagine a vast landscape and almost endless scenery. I think the scenery will be spectacular, and to meet the culture of the East will be a fantastic experience.”
An instructor and motivational speaker as well as a professional driver, Seel is also on another mission.
“My goal is to inspire more women to experience motorsport. I organise the only women’s rally school, and have also invited new women who are beginners as my co-drivers in different events during the years.”
INFO GAZELLE RALLY CHINA:
Gazelle Rally China is an offshoot of the famous Rallye Aicha des Gazelle, which has taken place in Morocco since 1990. To celebrate the event’s 30th Anniversary – the rally will offer a new challenge in the gruelling Naiman Desert, China.
An initial promotional event will be held in China from 23-26 October 2019, as a taster for the full Gazelle Rally China, which is scheduled for August 2020.
A total of 10 teams with drivers from 12 different countries, will tackle the three-day event, putting their skills to the ultimat in the Naiman Desert.
Annie Seel is the only driver representing Sweden and Scandinavia, but she will be in good company teaming up with the four-time winner Jeannette James from France.
One of the categories in China will include electric cars, while the Gazelle rallies are the only motorsport events in the world with International ISO 14001:2015 certificate which guarantees that organisers have implemented an Environmental Manage System (EMS).
Organizer of the event is Maienga Sports Event agency, specialized in adventure sports. (www.maienga.com)
Promotor of the event is Mitime Sports which also operates golf’s Volvo China Open and the China Formula Grand Prix. (www.mitimegroup.com)
Official website of Aicha des Gazelles Rallye Morocco: www.rallyeaichadesgazelles.com
Official website of Annie Seel: http://www.annieseel.com