She was the speed queen of the racetrack who became a feminist icon after triumphing over an all-male field to become Iran's national car rally champion. But now the high-octane driving career of Laleh Seddigh has juddered to a halt, with a ban from participating at a race by the country's motor racing authorities. Seddigh, 29, was walking towards her 1600cc Peugeot 206 at Tehran's Azadi stadium when stewards blocked her way, citing "security problems".
The snub followed days of wrangling with Iran's racing federation over her right to take part in an event she won two years ago on her way to becoming national champion. In the lead-up to the race, she was told her participation was not guaranteed but was advised to register her name. Her registration was passed after technicians gave her car the all-clear. "I thought I had been given the go-ahead," she said. "I was walking towards the grid thinking, thank God this has been resolved, when they shut the door on me. They said they didn't know why, but the head of the federation said I wasn't allowed to participate."
It was the first time Seddigh, whose exploits earned her the soubriquet "the little Schumacher", had been excluded from a contest. Senior federation officials said they had been unable to obtain permission for her participation.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
NOT ALLOWED TO RACE
The Guardian offers up a curious story of a racer who happens to be a woman from Iran. Easy to sense trouble ahead from the set-up:
Repugnant. Not a reason to bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran, but still so backwards that it boggles the brain.