Continuing the celebration of Women’s History Month, the Sports Car Club of America and SCCA Women on Track are working together to profile women in motorsports, with one profile appearing daily throughout the month of March on SCCA Women on Track’s Facebook page. On Fridays, SCCA then compiles those profiles, presenting them here. On Friday, March 3, we brought you information on three of those women (Dee Sanders Schweikle, Valerie Hansen, and Tere Pulliam), and today we present seven more women who are blazing tracks and roads with the SCCA.
This week, we jump in with Savera D’Souza, who has participated in rallies internationally, most recently winning the GPS class during the 2022 United States RoadRally Challenge. Next up is Michele Abbate, who began with autocross, moved to road racing, and now competes in the SCCA Pro Racing-sanctioned Trans Am Series, winning a scholarship that will further her professional racing pursuit. We also talk to Tana Plescher (a one-year member), Robin Bonanno (a 23-year member), and Fay Teal (who has an impressive 44-year history within the Club). Plus, there’s SCCA Hall of Famer Wilma Dunias, and autocrosser, RallyCrosser, and volunteer Tamara Tackett.
We invite you to follow along throughout March as daily posts will be made on the SCCA Women on Track Facebook Page, and with the weekly wrap-up that will be available here on SCCA.com.
Northern New Jersey Region | 8-year member
Program Area: RoadRally
Savera got into Time-Speed-Distance RoadRallying to escape making up a foursome for tennis at the YMCA. Thirteen years later she has absolutely no regrets. Driven, literally and figuratively, by husband Satish, she won multiple rallies in India, including the Indian National TSD Rally Championship in 2012. She moved to the U.S. in 2014 and quickly became active, running SCCA RoadRally events all over the Northeast and later National SCCA events across the country. Savera has won the National Course Rally championship twice and National Tour Rally championship three times.
"Rallying has made me travel to places I would otherwise have never visited,” Savera said. “I have also met incredible people passionate about the sport they love. To me, SCCA has been an avenue of new opportunities and adventures. I am glad SCCA is at the forefront of promoting TSD rallying in the U.S."
Las Vegas Region | 9-year member
Program Area: SCCA Pro Racing
Michele started her motorsports career autocrossing with Las Vegas Region in December 2004. She progressed her way through the motorsports ladder on the track and earned her provisional racing license in 2012 while road racing for Scion as a factory driver. In 2019, she made her debut in the SCCA Pro Racing-sanctioned Trans Am West Coast series, which she raced in for three years, becoming the first and only female to earn a podium finish in the Trans Am TA2 category. In 2022, she moved up to the national Trans Am series and made history as the first female to ever compete in a full TA2 season at the national level. In 2023, Michele was chosen for the PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship to aid her efforts in TA2 for the season.
“SCCA is my home – it's where I started my dream of driving cars, and now it's what's hosting my professional career through the Trans Am series,” Michele said. “My heart is with the SCCA, and I am so thankful for all of the opportunities it has provided me to keep chasing my dreams of earning more championships.”
Houston Region | 1-year member
Program Area: Solo
Tana, or Nerky, is a mother of two and grandmother of one, a U.S. Navy Combat veteran, and a lover of speed. At 45, she wanted to live her dream of auto racing and joined SCCA. For the last year, she has made her dream come true autocrossing her 2019 Kia Stinger GT2 in F Street.
“The SCCA equals opportunity for me,” Tana said. “I came with only the race experience of my youth. I have always loved to push the boundaries of speed on both land and water. From my very first SCCA race, I have been accepted, coached, cheered on, and welcomed as a racer. Not many people can walk into a club as a new member and get all of that from day one. Racing with SCCA provides a space for me to make new friends, bring old ones into the sport, and introduce more awesome women into the sport.”
We can’t wait to see how much more #funwithcars Tana continues to have.
Central Florida Region | 23-year member
Program Area: Road Racing
Robin is an accomplished road racer who started in a Spitfire and now races a Formula Atlantic. She’s been involved with the SCCA on and off since 1974 with several amazing experiences throughout the years. From crewing for Janet Guthrie, to helping her brother put a GP Spitfire on the podium at the Runoffs in the late 1970s. She’s driven open- and closed-wheel race cars along the way too, including a Formula F and a Formula 500. She’s an advocate for the Club and a mentor to new racers and corner marshals. “The SCCA has become my home away from home, and I love it,” Robin said. We love your dedication too, Robin.
South Jersey Region | 44-year member
Program Area: RoadRally/Stage Rally
Fay shared her father's passion for cars and motorsports, and as soon as her children were grown, she set out to realize her dream of becoming a racecar driver. She joined the South Jersey Region in 1978, following in her father's footsteps and quickly became active in road racing, autocross, and RoadRallies both as a volunteer and a competitor. Fay met her soon-to-be-husband David Teal while both were serving as volunteer race officials in the SCCA.
Just as she realized her dream of earning a competition license after attending SCCA Driver’s Schools at Pocono Raceway, Fay was diagnosed in 1981 with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Fay was never one to let her 40-plus year battle with a progressive and ultimately fully disabling disease overcome her adventurous spirit and love of motorsports.
Fay founded Laps to Conquer MS (LCMS) in 1989 to raise awareness of MS and do fundraising for research into treatments to help those suffering with MS. LCMS competed for 25 consecutive years in the grueling Cannonball One Lap of America rally, logging over 195,000 interstate miles and raising over $250,000 for MS research. LCMS also competed in - and won - the Nevada Open Road Challenge, and was the event charity for numerous SCCA races over the years. Fay was featured in Car and Driver magazine, and earned many awards and recognitions for her work and accomplishments with LCMS.
Fay's love of motorsports and its people will continue to inspire all of us for years to come.
Texas Region | 56-year member
Program Areas: Volunteer for Road Racing, Solo, and RoadRally
Wilma Dunias has experienced all areas of the SCCA during her 56 years as a member. From winning Regional and Divisional Class Championships in Solo during the late 1970s to designing, preparing, and conducting several Regional rallies, including the Big Bend Bash Pro-Rally, Wilma and her husband Costa have found a true home with strangers who have become family.
“SCCA is a tight network of people with whom we have a common interest in cars and with whom we have shared our lives,” she said. “These years have created an inseparable bond. We not only share experiences with our cars, but we share our beliefs and philosophies, wins, victories, and losses as well as other life events including weddings, births, educations, new homes, new businesses, illness, and even passing of our fellow members and those in their lives. It really is true that all that we bring into lives of others does come back to us.”
Wilma and her husband were inducted into the SCCA Hall of Fame this year, and Wilma was also the recipient of the 1985 John McGill Award for significant contributions to the SCCA Road Racing program. Her efforts have ranged from serving as pit crew, to the National Administrator of Timing and Scoring, Runoffs Competitor Services Team, and Pace Car Communicator.
We’re thankful that Wilma likes to have #funwithcars, and we can’t wait to continue to join her for years to come.
Ohio Valley Region | 6-year member
Program Areas: Solo, RallyCross, Volunteer for Region
Tami Tackett was new to the idea of any kind of performance driving in 2017. After seeing her husband compete in his first Solo event in over 10 years, she said "I could do that!" After five years, four Ohio Valley Region Ladies Solo Championships, and a dive into RallyCross, Tami has shown that she can do it all. Tami has also stepped up to be the Region's secretary, so it’s safe to say the SCCA is a big part of her life now. She has also won the Novice of the Year award and finished second in the Regional Street AWD class two years in a row. All this #funwithcars couldn’t be contained to just the pavement, so Tami started RallyCrossing in 2020. By day, she is a registered nurse at the elementary and middle school level.
“The SCCA has represented an opportunity to be a part of a community of volunteers and fellow car enthusiasts that are great people,” Tami said. “The opportunity to compete in a safe operating environment where competition isn't the only thing that matters has meant a lot to me and my family. The SCCA offered the chance to try something that I never thought I would try and the opportunity to feel good about doing it.”
You can find an archive of all women featured in our Showcase by scrolling down on the SCCA Women on Track webpage.