We were recently visited by DirtFish driver, off-road racer and radio show host, Jim Beaver for a Three Day Driving Program. Through relationships that he has cultivated from his Down & Dirty Radio Show, he brought along with him four highly active female motorsports athletes to get behind the wheel of our Subaru WRX STI rally cars! Jolene Van Vugt, Ami Houde, Michele Abbate, and Jacqueline Carrizosa have all built careers around automotive racing, motocross and other action sports. They have become some of the most competitive and well-known female athletes in each of their respective sport.
Jolene Van Vugt: A former professional women’s motocross racer and action sports star turned Hollywood stuntwoman and UTV racer.
“You’re able to learn everything you need to know! You can come to DirtFish without even knowing how to drive a manual and they are able to get you out there racing.” – Jolene
Ami Houde: A former professional motocross racer who now sits behind the controls of the Zombie Monster Truck in Monster Jam.
“This is an amazing opportunity. The skills I’ve learned here at DirtFish are definitely going to help me on two wheels and behind the wheel of a Monster Truck.” – Ami
Michele Abbate: A professional road racer who has spent her career learning the fast lines around a road course and destroying the competition.
“When I arrived, I was braking where I should be lifting off of the gas. It’s really cool when I get everything right because I know exactly what is going to happen. I began to understand that if I simply lift off of the gas, the car is going to turn on its own. I’m excited to apply this to the Polaris RZR’s that I will be racing this year!” – Michele
Jacqueline Carrizosa: A former Navy Rescue swimmer who now races motorcycles in desert races and spends her time as a firearms instructor and coordinator in Hollywood.
“DirtFish was spectacular! I felt an overall improvement with how I was handling the vehicle throughout all types of terrain, understanding how to throw the rear out in drifts and turns. The instructors were impeccable when giving the demonstrations with an almost ballerina-style technique. I am definitely looking forward to going again!” – Jacque
The women all faced different struggles during their three days at DirtFish. For some, it was their first time sliding sideways on four wheels, and for others, it was the transition from tarmac to gravel. At the end of the three days, all four women came away from the class with vastly improved car control skills, all of which will translate into improved performance behind the wheel in their traditional motorsport disciplines.
Listen to the women chat about DirtFish and life as motorsport athletes in The Down & Dirty Radio Show episode “Women in Motorsports” below! (Interview starts at 01:01:21)
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