Katarina Kyvalova and Henry Poole & Co.

Goodwood Revival 2016


This is a short interview I made with Katarina Kyvalova, who appears in my photographs exhibited at The Service for the Savile Row Concours 2024. Katarina formed the Bentley Belles and has had a driving suit made by Henry Poole and Co. I used my Leica Noctilux F1 50mm lens at about f1.4 and my delicious Leica M10P for these intimate photos of Katarina.

Katarina races regularly in Many of the historic and a few contemporary race meetings including Le Mans Classic, Monaco Historique, Goodwood Revival, Motorsport Reunion Laguna Seca, Creventic 24 Hours race in Portimão or Dubai, Benjafields 24 Hours race, Spa Six Hours and Mille Miglia. Her stable of race cars include  Cooper-Jaguar T33 , Jaguar E-type semi-lightweight , Bentley 4.5 litre Bentley Speed Six  and Mercedes AMG GT4.

You are currently on the Peking to Paris right now, Who are you driving with?

I’m driving together with Jon Minshaw who is a racer himself and a very good friend of mine. We have done couple of endurance races and trips together so I think we are a good team.

What are you driving in?

We are driving in the 1967 HERO-ERA 1 Mustang Fastback, restored and engineered by Prodrive in Banbury, which is a perfect rally machine suitable to tackle the terrain.

How long is the rally?

The rally is 14.250 km long and takes 37 days. We will drive through 9 countries and 8 time zones and so we will cross the biggest landmass in the world.

What is your biggest challenge do you think – as this is your first time on this rally?

I expect us to face many challenges during the rally but the toughest one could be bad weather and road conditions, major technical issues or red mist in the timed sections, what could easily happen with racers like us in the cockpit.

What races have you entered for this year?

So far I have entered the Goodwood Members Meeting and Monaco Historique but hope to be back at the Goodwood Revival in the Cooper-Jaguar T33 and Spa Six Hours in the Jaguar E-type semi-lightweight.

As a team, who do you like driving with  or do you prefer racing on your own?

I personally prefer two or more driver races because longer endurance races in a team are more fun. I mainly choose female co-driver as I think due to the general lack of female drivers in the motorsport we should put forces together and so encourage other girls too.

What are you most looking forward to this year – or is the Peking to Paris your most exhilarating expedition this year?

The Peking to Paris Motor Challenge is surely the highlight of the year, better to say, it is going to be a life-changing experience which I am already extremely excited about. However, I plan to extend this adventure and after the P2P and continue my journey and drive around the world so this year will be definitely one to be remembered.

What would say to your 14 year old self? What would you say to any young lady who would like to race a car?

If you like cars or racing- go and try it! I started to live my passion for racing relatively late, so my advice to any young lady out there who likes cars and racetracks, would be not wait for too long and try it as soon as possible. Book a track day and you will find out very quickly if this sport is something for you or not.