Let's start from the beginning. Who are you?
I am Elise Whyte, the navigating side of the Whyte Sisters. My sister, Seren and I, started rallying in 2012 and have competed in over 70 rallies in the last 10 years.
What inspired you to start classic car rallying in 2012?
The inspiration behind starting classic car rallying was quite unexpected. My sister, Seren and I were motivated by someone who said it was ‘too difficult for women to participate in such events’. Seren and I saw this as a challenge and wanted to prove them wrong. We love cars and adventure, so classic car rallying seemed like the perfect way to combine our passions and break down gender stereotypes.
I can imagine it wasn't easy in the beginning. Can you tell us about your early experiences in classic car rallying?
In the first two years of competing, it was extremely difficult. We didn’t have a clue on how to rally or how to prep a car. We didn't achieve the results we had hoped for. This was shown by not making it into the top half of the results, but that didn't deter us. We knew it would take time, practice, and experience to improve. It was a valuable learning period for us, where we honed our skills and gained a deeper understanding of the sport.
In 2016, you made it onto the podium by finishing third in the Summer Trial. How did that feel, and what did it mean for you?
Making it onto the podium in 2016 was an incredibly proud moment for me. It was a validation of my hard work and dedication. We had faced skepticism and doubts along the way, but this achievement proved that we belonged in the rally world. It gave us a boost of confidence and reinforced our passion for classic car rallying.
Winning your first rally in 2018 on The Winter Challenge must have been an unforgettable experience. Can you share the emotions and memories associated with that victory?
Winning The Winter Challenge in 2018 was an absolute thrill! It was a culmination of years of effort, perseverance, and teamwork. Crossing that finish line in Monte Carlo and realising we had secured the victory was an incredible moment. It proved that hard work and determination can lead to great achievements.
It sounds like an amazing journey so far. How did the idea for Venture Bound come about?
Lockdown was a significant turning point for me, I had lost my job, my wedding got postponed and was stuck in a one bed flat. It gave me a lot of time to think about what was important, and it wasn’t the physical things, it was the memories, family and friends. I also couldn't travel around and compete in classic car rallies, which had been a big part of my life. Being at home all the time was challenging, and that's when the idea for Venture Bound was born. I wanted to create something that would allow people to experience the thrill of adventure, even if they couldn't physically travel. That's how the concept of Covid Secure routes and self-driving experiences came into play.
It's impressive how you adapted to the situation and found a way to bring adventure to people during lockdown. Could you tell us more about the experiences Venture Bound offers, such as the Gin and Champagne Discoveries and Quest Drive?
All my discoveries are created from my love of travel and experience. Gin and Champagne Discoveries are all about combining scenic routes with the opportunity to sample some of the best flavours in different regions. It's designed to be enjoyed by a variety of vehicles, from classic cars to electric cars, supercars, and even motorbikes. It's a unique blend of driving pleasure and culinary delights.
Quest Drive, on the other hand, offers self-driving treasure hunts across the UK. Participants can embark on their own UK Car Tour from the comfort of their own vehicle. It adds a competitive element to the experience, as they can compete for first place against other participants. It's a way to keep the adventure alive while exploring different parts of the country.
Is there any reason you wanted to incorporate the competition element into the self-driving treasure hunts?
As someone who comes from the navigating side of rallying, I wanted to bring a touch of that competition and excitement to Venture Bound experiences. Competing against others adds an extra layer of fun and motivation. It allows participants to engage with the journey, challenge themselves, and strive for that sense of achievement. Plus, who doesn't enjoy a bit of friendly competition?
What are your future plans for Venture Bound? Are there any new adventures or expansions in the pipeline?
We have big plans for Venture Bound! We want to continue expanding our offerings,https://www.venturebound.co.uk/vbmmc creating more exciting routes and experiences for people to enjoy. We want to open up motorsport to younger generations offering an easy and affordable way to get involved. We're constantly exploring new destinations and looking for ways to enhance the adventure. Whether it's introducing new themed experiences or venturing into different regions, we want to keep pushing the boundaries and make experienced and adventures to remember.
Support Elise Whyte on her Venture and become part of the Venture Bound Members Motoring Club (VBMMC)