If you didn't know already, Inessa Tushkanova is a professional rally driver who likes to get naked in front of cameras. Yes, this is the best thing to happen to you in your life.
Wait, a rally driver who poses for Playboy?
Do all of my dreams come true now, or just this one?
Just this one, unfortunately.
Wait, aren't I not supposed to objectify women in motorsports?
We said in our piece "How to Inspire More Women to Become Gearheads" that the media should "cover successful women in motorsports, not just attractive ones." Well, we're not exclusively covering attractive ones.
We won't fail to bring up Teena Gade, who used to run Mini's World Rally Championship team, or her sister Leena Gade, the first woman engineer to bring a 24 Hours of Le Mans team to victory.
But this is a driver who wants to show the world her beautiful self, and she competes in rallying, one of the greatest tests of driving skill possible, making her our dream woman.
So I shouldn't feel bad that this is the sexiest woman I have ever seen?
Go wild, man.
I will. You mentioned that she has posed for playboy?
Yeah, she's been in Russian, Lithuanian, and Ukrainian issues.
Could I see those covers, please?
Do you have any pictures of her just being awesome?
Okay, where is she from, and what does she drive?
Tushkanova was born in Ukraine in '87, but she's since moved to Moscow for better opportunities in racing. In 2013, she's just starting her first year in the Finnish Rally Championship, which is two steps down from the major leagues of the World Rally Championship.
Her rally car is the Mitsubishi Evo IX you see above, but back in her garage she's got some nice rides, too. There's a tuned Subaru wagon, two more Evos, and a V10 BMW M6.
Why go race in Finland?
Finland, as you probably know, is the great frozen well of rally driving talent, and perhaps the best place to learn how to drive on snow and gravel.
Is she any good?
She's got a few victories to her name, taken in local Russian rallies in 2011, but she's not streaking through with championship wins behind her or anything. Here's her European Rally Championship profile.
Does she have any chance of winning this year?
Well, her Mitsubishi Evo isn't the most competitive car, but her new team, PrintSport Racing is top notch. PrintSport swept the Finnish Rally Championship last year, so we hope to see her at least on the podium in 2013.
Okay, so why exactly is she posing for Playboy?
Tushkanova got asked the same thing by Playboy, and here's the answer she gave.
Nobody likes women in racing sport, which is traditionally dominated by men, because it's easier for us to attract sponsors. This magazine is prestigious enough and helps with PR.
So that's pretty bold. I thought she just wanted to look pretty.
Well, she started modeling before she started driving professionally. She says that many men, her father included, were skeptical of her wanting to be a rally driver. She's said she wants to be a world rally champion, which is a lofty goal.
Has there ever been a woman who won the World Rally Championship?
Legendary Michele Mouton crashed out of the WRC title lead in the last race of 1982. Had she not crashed, she would have won the championship with Audi in the balls-out Group B era.
Is there anyone like Tushkanova here in America?
Yeah, Marveye Dufault.
So how can I follow her for updates on her rally career and, uh, any photography she does?
You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook, but the most info is on her website, Tushkanova.com.
Given that Tushkanova is hot, there been some trashy, sleazy, faux-journalism about her, right?
Definitely. If you're looking for a laugh, you should check out this profile of her in The Sun. Notable quotes include, "And it's her driving skill, as well as her amazing legs, which are giving male rally drivers a run for their money." And "Temperatures in the host town of Rovaniemi will not rise much above -20°C, but it won't stop rally fans getting hot under the collar — and you can see why."
So here's a very attractive model who's not terrible at rally driving, who is working her way up the ladder and getting naked in the meantime.
Pretty much yeah.
I see nothing wrong with this.
Photo Credits: Inessa Tushkanova , Playboy