Home   Sport   Article

Inverness rally driver looking to move up a gear at UK Championship

By Will Clark

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!
Nikki Addison. Picture: James Mackenzie
Nikki Addison. Picture: James Mackenzie

NIKKI Addison has moved her motor racing career up a gear as she is making her debut season in the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship.

After impressing at rally competitions across Scotland, which included her being a former Scottish women’s champion, she is now taking on top drivers from across the UK.

She made her debut in the competition last week as the 26-year-old electrician from Inverness produced a superb performance at the North West Stages at Garstang in Lancashire.

As well as winning the First Woman title at the rally, she also claimed victory in the Class B12 category driving her Honda Civic Type R.

Nikki Addison. Picture: James Mackenzie
Nikki Addison. Picture: James Mackenzie

Addison says the championship is a step up in level to what she has competed in previously, but she is relishing the challenge of taking on top rally drivers from across Great Britain.

She said: “It is the first time that I have driven at races in England.

“I have navigated at rallies in England and Ireland, but normally I stick to driving at the Scottish Championships. The event at the weekend was part of the British Rally Championship and the top drivers were there.

“It is an amazing competition to be part of.

“I have never seen a starting list with as many R5’s and I think there were 50 cars that were worth over £100,000.

“But I went down there and I hope people left and noticed what I did and said who is that random?”

Nikki Addison. Picture: James Mackenzie
Nikki Addison. Picture: James Mackenzie

Addison got involved in rally driving almost as soon as she got her driving licence when she was 17.

Her father Jimmy Addison was involved in servicing in rally driving and said it led to her interest in getting involved in the sport.

After starting in the sport as a navigator, it wasn’t long before she got behind the wheel and achieving major success in Scotland.

It included her becoming Scottish women’s champion when she was just 20 in 2018.

“My Dad used to service for rally driver Jimmy Girvan, then he had me and my brother and faded away from it.

“I don’t think he thought his daughter would get into rallying.

“From a young age I was interested in cars, we would always go to watch them.

“When I started working, I wanted to try it myself and that is when I went out competing.

“When I was 17, I sold my road car to buy a Peugeot, as I had a works van so I didn’t need a car.

“I bought myself a Peugeot and I rallied in it before I decided I needed to get a bigger car.

“There were people at my work who did rally driving. However, my Dad advised me to navigate before I drove to get my head around it.

“I started navigating for a driver called Billy Hamilton from Wick and then I got into other navigating seats before I thought it was time to drive the car myself.

“A lot of people are either a driver or navigator, you do not often get both.

“But I like the fact that I can sit in a faster car and navigate and hopefully learn things off them so I can do it myself when I am driving the car.”

Nikki Addison. Picture: James Mackenzie
Nikki Addison. Picture: James Mackenzie

Addison says she has received a lot of support from her sponsors to help her compete in rally driving, which can be an expensive sport to take part in.

She admits that the costs of taking part in the competition is something that goes through her head when behind the wheel.

But she hopes with more experience that will become less of an issue when driving in the future.

She said: “It is an expensive sport for someone who is funding myself.

“Across the whole year, entry fees are £800 for each rally.

“It is a lot of money to compete in competitions. Sometimes when I drive this car, it does go through my head that if I wreck it, I’ll be the one that has to pay for it.

“That plays in my head and that is something that I need to push out of it.

“The company I work for has been amazing as have all the sponsors, but for someone who is funding the sport myself, it is hard.”

Nikki Addison. Picture: James Mackenzie
Nikki Addison. Picture: James Mackenzie

Addison was only one of three women who were competing at the North-West Stages, in a sport which is predominantly dominated by men.

While she is looking to win rallies regardless of whether she is competing against men or women, Addison hopes that she is inspiring more women to consider taking up the sport.

“There are more women taking part and it is nice to see – but at the same time I want to beat the boys as well as the girls and I want to be right in there,” she added.

“I would like to think I am helping inspire more women and there are more than me competing.

“It is nice when I see kids looking at my car. They ask if they can sit in my car and it makes their weekend when they do.”

Addison is now looking forward to competing at the Manx Rally in the Isle of Man.

She hopes she can continue her success from her previous event and keep driving her career in the right direction.

“The Manx Rally is a bucket list event so I am looking forward it,” she said.

“The championship is something I have never been involved in before and I want to do really well. I would like to do more after last weekend and get higher up in the results, I am looking to push myself.”

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More