Tessa Whittock – My Other Life
Motorsport enthusiasts come from all walks of life, so when you are getting stuck into a club competition, you never know who you might be up against. Some people have extraordinary backgrounds, and in this feature, we celebrate those who do something a little different in their ‘other life’.
To mark the third round of the Motorsport UK Drift Pro Championship at Snetterton this weekend (23-24 October), we look back at Tessa Whittock’s interview in September’s edition of Revolution. Here’s a glimpse into what she had to say about going from investment banking in London to stunt driver and drift school teacher.
How did you get into motorsport and when did you start?
“I have always been interested in cars and one day, many moons ago, I got into a Nissan R32 drift taxi during a Japanese event at Santa Pod. From that point on, I wanted to own a Skyline. I brought one at the age of 21, went to Santa Pod and learned how to drift. I then threw myself in at the deep end and went to Lydden Hill, where I really got the love for the sport. At the time, I worked in London in the investment banking industry and drifting was my release.”
When did you set up the drift school and how does it work?
“I had always been interested in running a drift school and when the chance to buy RDX Drift Academy from some friends came up two years ago I snapped it up. We are based at Three Sisters Race Circuit in Wigan and are looking to branch out to build awareness of the sport. We teach at all levels, from people who just want to try out something new to drifters who want to improve their techniques. We also help normal circuit racers who want to know how to better control their vehicle if they get into trouble and we do corporate team building days, because drifting naturally brings people together and teaches fundamental skills that can be used on the road.”
You are also a professional stunt driver – when did that begin and what have been your best moments?
“It started in 2018 with Terry Grant Stunts and I have had many varied experiences. I head up and drive in an all-girls stunt drift team, travelling all over the world as part of a team show, and once we performed in Saudi Arabia, where we were the first women to drive in front of a crowd in that country and also met and performed our stunt display in front of the King of Saudi Arabia. I have also worked on the movie Mission Impossible as the leading driving stunt double for Pom Klementieff and I taught Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell for her final challenge after eight years on the show, which was an amazing opportunity for me to show that with the correct training you can do anything.”
Head over to the September edition of Revolution to read the full-length feature of Tessa’s ‘other live.’
[Images courtesy of Jordan Butters]