While she was born in the small Ukrainian town of Verkhnedneprovsk, Inessa Tushkanova had big town dreams. As a young girl she loved cars and motorbikes, so her parents moved her to Dnepropetrovsk, and then Kiev, to give her greater access to the motorsports industry. Her passion grew when she traveled to Japan for a modeling contract and she knew she could combine her talents to become a star.
Men, especially her father, were skeptical of her desire to delve into the male-dominated sport. Yet, her natural beauty and sex appeal attracted attention, so she began gracing the pages of Playboy.
"Nobody likes women in racing sport, which is traditionally dominated by men, because it’s easier for us to attract sponsors," says Inessa. "This magazine is prestigious enough and helps with PR." In addition to Russian Playboy, Inessa has also stripped down for the Ukrainian and Lithuanian issues.
In 2008, she participated in Prime Yalta Rally, Ukraine’s most prestigious racing competition held annually in the Crimea, and became Best Female Racer of Eastern Europe. Last month, she represented Russia in the Polish race Kotlina Mocy and won.
Inessa now lives in Moscow, where motorsports are taken more seriously. "We [Ukrainians] don’t have an auto sport culture. I could wait until something changes or I could change something by myself, but one man can't win a war. I need to gain some respect first and then I will help the Ukrainian sport," she says.
Take a look at these amazing photos of racer Inessa Tushkanova and you may feel your heart start to race!
Source: KyivPost.com, Photos: Tushkanova.com