Remembering 2013 CMHF inductee Diana Carter

Diana Carter, a pioneering female racer and 2013 Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame (CMHF) inductee, has died at the age of 83.

Carter entered her first race in the early-1960s, at a time when men dominated the landscape and a woman driver was rare.

Borrowing her boyfriend’s Volvo, Carter entered a race in Quebec, where she beat 19 men en route to victory in her first time out. The accomplishment caught the eye of national media, making that night’s CBC national news.

The Toronto native, who most recently called Ladysmith, British Columbia home, primarily competed in road and rally races.

In the mid-1960s, she took part in Canada’s toughest rally race, the Shell 4000, a cross-country marathon from Montreal to Vancouver, where she won the woman’s division in three consecutive years.

In 1966, she won a Formula Vee race at the Bahamas Speed Week over a field that included Janet Guthrie, who later became the first woman to qualify for the Indianapolis 500.

Following her roughly half-decade behind the wheel, Carter joined her now-husband Jerry Polivka at Canada Track & Traffic magazine, where she was the office manager and a writer.

After the couple parted ways, Carter went stateside and became the first director of public relations at both Michigan International Speedway and Texas World Speedway.

A few years later, Carter left the motorsport industry altogether, taking various jobs in the U.S. before returning to Canada.

While her racing career was short, it was successful, not just for a female.

The CMHF sends its condolences to Carter’s family and friends.