WOMAN CRUSH WEDNESDAYS: ABBIE EATON
Born on the 2nd of January 1992 in Hull, England, Abigail Eaton is a popular guest on the very successful Amazon Original, ‘The Grand Tour,’ along with being a 2 times British Champion in Production Touring Cars and the Mazda MX-5 Supercup. As well as this, she is the first female driver in history to win a Blancpain Endurance class as she pushes her career to inspire millions!
Written by Bruna Brito, Edited by Esmée Koppius & Aiden Hover
Abbie says that her very first contact with the speed of a race track was at 10 years old:
“My father used to race so I grew up around Motorsport. I started karting aged 10 and then progressed into cars aged 15.”
At 10, Abbie remembers being at a go-kart track with her parents and asking them if she could compete. However, they were busy doing other things. Determined, she picked up an old box and began walking through the pit boxes asking various team members to give her the money needed to compete. In this rather optimistic and comical act, she had shown her determination to her parents who decided to support her dream.
The start was not easy, however, with Abbie seemingly always getting into trouble with the boys as they would push her kart about on track and into the wall. She insists that those episodes simply made her the woman she is today and helped her build confidence within herself. From a young age, Abbie knew the passion required to do a good job and in this, she cultivated resilience and determination. Abbie knew she had to put herself in positions that others were unwilling to so that onlookers could have no doubt of her talent.
In 2007, Abbie joined her first professional race series – the Junior Saloon Car Trophy. Driving a Citroen Saxo VTR, she finished the championship in 4th position, with 3 podiums and 2 fastest laps.
In 2009, at 17 years old, Abbie entered the Production Touring Car Trophy, driving a Vauxhall Corsa VXR. Astonishingly, she would win the championship in her rookie season winning 15 out of 18 races with 2 pole positions a record 7 fastest laps!
Entirely self-funded by her family, despite being far from privileged, she went on to compete in the Mazda MX-5 Championship. This year would be incredibly difficult for the Briton as she would miss many races due to lack of sponsorship. She hit back strong in 2013 with 1 win, 7 podiums, and 1 fastest lap. Abbie would do even better in 2014, becoming the champion of the Mazda MX-5 Supercup!
Again in 2016, Abbie suffered a lack of sponsors. She has talked many times about how this was a problem throughout her career as, despite showing good results and consistency – the prejudice and difficulties followed her regardless of what championship she competed in.
“The MX-5 SuperCup will always be unforgettable for me. It was the last year I did anything in a family-run team. Dad built the car and did the set-up, and Mum was there supporting with bacon sarnies in the morning. It was a really tough year. Though my career has been quite long, I’ve only ever done the odd full season, and 2014 was the first full season I’d done in five or six years. We started well but three-quarters of the way through there was an incident in which someone hit me off track on purpose – there were so many highs and lows.”
Nonetheless, Abbie would earn the chance to compete in the Blancpain Endurance Series, driving a Ferrari 488 GT3, for a one of showing in 2017. Competing in a field of 52, she and her team would finish first in the AM Cup, making her the first female driver in history to win a class in the series.
Abbie Eaton later would become much loved as she played the role of test and stunt driver on the Amazon Original series, The Grand Tour.
“I think he was destined to fail, to be honest especially with UK viewers, I think probably it was set up that The Grand Tour is owned by Amazon, which is an American company and they wanted to just give it an American injection of humour.”
However, the show became a huge success, as it rose to one of Amazon’s most popular shows. Unfortunately, Abbie is no longer a part of the show.
For 2021, Abbie is set to compete in the second ever season of the ground-breaking W-Series:
“I’m determined and I’m quick – I just need bum-in-seat practice time – so I’m very grateful for the opportunity W Series is giving me. I’m focused on giving it my all – I think most of the girls are. Being in a male-dominated sport, you have to be hungrier and more aggressive on track to get what you want. You have to prove you’re not going to get messed about. I think that’s why racing in a female championship is going to be harder than in a mixed one. Our collective determination is so much more potent.”
Abbie came out as a lesbian and as a part of the LGBTQ+ community at the age of 17. As we celebrate Pride Month this June, we hope you enjoyed this article and wish Abbie well as she continues to inspire young people all around the world with her story!
Love is Love <3