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A Woman in a men's world
introduction   1970's   1980's   1990's   2000's   track tests   


Henny has been very active in skating, swimming and roller skating from age 4.
Then, at age 15, she became seriously involved in race rowing competition.
But once bitten by the car bug in the early seventies, Henny began spending most of her life on four wheels.


She was already familiar with auto racing from the beginning of the seventies.
When she married Peter Hemmes, he was still studing mechanical engineering while taking care of the Formula Ford race car of a friend, Roelof Wunderink. Wunderink became Dutch Champion. From then on, the young men travelled through Europe from race track to race track.
Henny joined them during the weekends and vacations and kept herself busy with time keeping and public relations for the newly formed race team that was competing in Formula 3.
Each year meant a step forward: from F3 to Formula 5000 to F1.
Henny however, was eager to take the wheel of a race car herself, but never got the chance to even drive through the paddock. The boys, being wary of her aspirations sent her to a talent hunt of former Formula 1-driver André Pilette, who owned a Formula Vee racing school in Belgium.
After winning that contest, nudging aside some eighty other rookies, Henny bought her own race car, a Toyota Celica GT 1600 to compete in The Netherlands. That very first year she finished fourth in the FIA Dutch National Championship Group B till 1600 cc.
She also started as an instructor of the Racing School and the Anti-Skid School of Rob Slotemaker, further educating herself in the techniques of motor racing.



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