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Taru Rinne

rinne_90_02è stata la prima donna al mondo a raccogliere punti nel campionato mondiale velocità.

i suoi esordi sono a 4 ruote in ambito kart

come pilota di kart fu campione finnico classe 85 c.c. nel 1979 davanti ad Hakkinen. e poi seconda nel’80 battagliando con salo ed hakkinen .  nell’81 ancora seconda e nell’83 vince ma perde il titolo a seguito di una discussa squalifica che gli pregiudica anche il passaggio alle formule superiori dove trova solo porte chiuse.

decide quindi di passare al motociclismo e nell’1985 raggiunti i 16 anni, orttiene la licenza per guidare motocicli nella classe 125B.

va subito fotissimo al punto che già l’anno dopo corre nel trofeo nazionale classe A giungendo quarta e dopo poco tempo  disputa il campionato europeo con un incoraggiante 6° posto come miglior risultato.

nell 1988 prende parte ancora all’europeo e ad alcune gare del mondiale 125 dove si mette in evidenza al punto di ottenere un ingaggio per il team Rumi nel 1989.

Giunta alla corte di RUMI Con un mezzo finalmente competitivo stupisce tutti ad Hockenheim dove ottiene uno strabiliante secondo posto in prova, battaglia per la vittoria per alcuni giri e poi chiude ottenendo come risultato finale un incoraggiante settimo posto.

tuttavia nell’anno successivo ad inizio campionato è protagonista di una bruttissima caduta che gli impedisce di disputare il resto del campionato a fine anno riceve una lettera da Bernie Ecclesone che la invita a desistere dal continuare a correre . davvero un brutto colpo per la povera Taru che però pur collezionando altre cadute non molla e con alterne fortune e pochi sponsor causa il veto degli sponsor del tabacco , prosegue con una moto “base”  nel campionato tedesco che chiude all’1° posto e prosegue la sua carriera fino al 1995 quando a causa di una brutta lesione al ginocchio già seriamente danneggiato in una caduta dell’89 decide di rinunciare al passaggio alla classe 250 e chiude  quindi la carriera attiva-

con Rumi ha corso dal 1989 al 1992.

(EN)Taru Rinne from Turku in
Finland is the first woman in
the world to have obtained
Road Racing World Cham -
pion ship points. She is also the first
and only woman in Finland competing
at World Championship level.
Getting World Championship points
as the first woman never really mattered
to her because she had only
one goal and that was to be the
World Champion of Road Racing.
Racing was everything to Taru. She
got herself into the motorsport
world through the influence of her
father who used to race with minicars.
The paddocks of Finland already
became really familiar to Taru when
she was 4 years old. She started
practicing when she was really
young. It didn’t matter whether it
was raining or snowing – she didn’t
give up. She rode the track around
and around. She thinks that this continuous
practice was later the key to
her success. Beside Road Racing,
Taru also competed in ice racing and
motocross which she thinks were
really beneficial for Road Racing. Before
her Road Racing career, this little
girl beat on karting tracks boys like
Mika Häkkinen and Mika Salo. “Häk -
kinen has been asking if I am crazy.”
Taru changed her karting car into a
Road Racing bike when she wanted
something new and exciting. In 1985
the 16 year old Taru got her motorbike
driving licence and started to
race in the 125cc B-class. She was
doing so well that the following year
she was already competing in the
125cc A-class and was fourth. Over
the next few years Taru raced in
European Championship races where
her best result was 6th. In 1988
besides competing in European Championship
races she also took part in
a few World Championship competitions
and got her first points finishing
14th with her RS 125 Honda in
the French Grand Prix on the Paul
Ricard circuit (44.23 seconds behind
winner Jorge Martinez).
Women on Road Racing tracks was
something new and interesting. Taru
was able to race in an Italian team in
1989. In the competition situation
there were no gentlemen. “I was a
racer among other racers. It didn´t
matter if I had long hair under my
helmet. In Finland there was maybe
a bit of bitterness when a woman
won but when we raced in WC level
people were really amazing.” Taru was
in this team for four years. She learned
Italian quickly and liked Italian people.
Taru´s best result is from the year
1989 when she was seventh in the
German Grand Prix in Hockenheim
and 17th in the final classification
with 23 points. But she most admi -
res her 11th place which she achie -
ved twice in German Championship
races where she raced in 1992-
1993. “We raced with a basic
motorcycle. We fixed the bikes by
ourselves and there were really
tough guys competing.”
Taru was active in traveling around
the world. In the beginning, her parents
helped her financially and when
she got herself into the team, was
that partly fixed. “Without my parents’
help I wouldn´t have been able
to race at all.” Racing as the only
woman was really beneficial because
newspapers wrote a lot about Taru
which made it easier for her to get
sponsors. But after tobacco sponsors
quit in Road Racing the money
problems started.
Usually Taru had a mechanic with
her but it wasn’t unusual for her to
fix her bike by herself. “I can race but
I am not sure if I can change pistons
so well, but sometimes I just had to.”
The team mechanics came to the
races from Italy and Taru was travelling
alone with her 508 Mercedes
where she had her racing bikes, bed
and a small kitchen behind the car.
She thinks that paddock life was fantastic.
“We raced on the tracks but
in the paddocks we were friends with
each other. In so-called normal life
people don´t get that. I was always
on the road but I went home every
time when it was possible.” Taru
cooked for herself and did the laundry
but she got help when she
needed it. She also spent much time
with other racers’ girlfriends.
Taru raced all her active career in
the 125cc class. It was her goal to
move into the 250cc class but accidents
blocked the way. In 1989 Taru
hurt her knee badly when someone
drove over it in Assen. It was operated
on a few times and they always
fixed it before the starts but it was
hurting all the time. Also financial
problems forced Taru to quit racing
after the German Championship
races.

Posted 30 years, 8 months ago at 3:40 pm.

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