Gentlemen, start your engines for Inessa Tushkanova, a rally driver from Verkhnedneprovsk, a small town in the southeast Ukraine. She’s a professional rally driver – she placed 6th in the Ukrainian National Championship – who just so happens to be a Playboy model. She’s posed for Ukrainian, Russian and Lithuanian editions of Playboy, and has graced the cover of all three issues. “My family moved to Kiev when I was thirteen,” she says. “A few years later, I was offered a contract with a modeling agency in Japan.” While in Japan, Inessa fell in love with cars. “When I returned to the Ukraine,” she says, “I started training to be a rally driver.” Her hard work paid off – in 2013 she’ll be competing in the final frontier of the Finnish Rally Championship, where drivers get a crash course in high speeds and low temperatures. “I’m going to be a world champion,” she says. “Rally driving is traditionally dominated by men, but as a woman, I get better sponsors.”
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