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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

What number of girls have raced in Le Mans earlier than and have they gained?

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Whereas lots of motorsport’s high sequence and iconic occasions are overwhelmingly male-dominated, the Le Mans 24 Hours is much extra numerous. Ladies drivers are much more widespread, and have performed an vital position within the race’s historical past and development. 

This weekend will see only one all-women group take to the observe for the Le Mans 24 Hours, with the Iron Dames hoping to raised their results of fourth in school final yr when the group narrowly missed out on a podium place within the LM GTE Am class.  

What number of girls have pushed within the Le Mans 24 Hours?

59 girls have taken half throughout the 88 editions of the Le Mans 24 Hours, with a complete of 132 begins and 68 finishes from feminine drivers. A document ten girls took half within the 1935 race, which noticed 124 whole drivers enter.

France has essentially the most feminine drivers with 22, adopted by the UK on 16 and the US and Switzerland with 4 every, although girls from 13 nations in whole have entered the distinguished race.

Which feminine driver has essentially the most entries within the Le Mans 24 Hours?

The lady with essentially the most entries to the Le Mans 24 Hours is Anne-Charlotte Verney, who took half in 10 consecutive Le Mans races from 1974 to 1983. She and co-drivers Xavier Lapeyre and François Servanin took a category win in 1978 in a Porsche 911 Carrera RSR, whereas her greatest general end – sixth place – got here behind the wheel of a Porsche 935 K3 in 1981.

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How properly have girls performed on the Le Mans 24 Hours?

Feminine drivers are far much less widespread than their male counterparts, nevertheless the shortage of illustration hasn’t hampered their capability to safe outcomes.

The most effective end for a lady is an general fourth place and sophistication win, which was taken in 1932 by Odette Siko in an Alfa Romeo 6C 1750. In newer instances Vanina Ickx, daughter of former System 1 driver and six-time Le Mans winner Jacky, got here in seventh within the 2011 race behind the wheel of a Lola-Aston Martin B09/60.

Of the 4,298 crews which have participated within the Le Mans 24 Hours 23 have been all-female. Odette Siko and Marguerite Mareuse, each French, have the document for the most effective outcome for an all-female crew, having taken their Bugatti T40 to seventh place in 1930.

There have been ten feminine class winners, together with Odette Siko, Anne-Charlotte Verney and Michéle Mouton, whereas Lella Lombardi completed second in school in 1976.

Who’re the ladies racing within the 2024 Le Mans 24 Hours?

There is only one all-women group competing within the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2024 and no additional girls have entered the endurance competitors. The Iron Dames will tackle their third try at Le Mans, hoping to lastly clinch an LM GTE Am class podium.  

 

The group seemed robust in 2023 for an opportunity on the rostrum, main the category race simply hours earlier than the chequered flag. A late brake change over the past hour although noticed Rahel Frey, Michelle Gatting and Sarah Bovy demoted right down to fourth, with Bovy admitting: “Clearly we’re tremendous upset. Ending so near the rostrum after preventing for the lead for therefore lengthy is painful.” 

The three drivers will return to Le Mans 24 Hours in 2024, with Rahel Frey returning to cowl an injured Doriane Pin, who had hoped to take part. The current F1 Academy and WEC driver withdrew from last month’s Formula Regional European Championship race in Spa-Francorchamps after fracturing her ribs, although the origin of the harm remains to be unclear 

Pin launched a video on her social media platforms on the finish of Might to announce that she can be unable to compete with the Iron Dames at Le Mans 24 Hours as she takes time to heal. The French driver mentioned: “This choice is hard and unhappy, particularly since Le Mans is without doubt one of the greatest races of the yr, and for me, it is a very particular one.” 

Michelle Gatting, Rahel Frey, Sarah Bovy, Iron Dames

Michelle Gatting, Rahel Frey, Sarah Bovy, Iron Dames

Rahel Frey will change Pin on the Circuit de la Sarthe for her seventh try at successful the race. The Swiss is an skilled endurance racer, taking a number of podium finishes on the European Le Mans sequence. She additionally competed with the Iron Dames in WEC final season, serving to the group to return runner-up within the championship.  

Frey can be joined by Sarah Bovy who can be a longtime member of the Iron Dames lineup. The Belgian joined the group in 2021 and have become the primary feminine driver to attain a category pole within the WEC at Monza in 2022.  She additionally raced for Iron Lynx on the European Le Mans sequence claiming second place within the penultimate race and a victory within the closing race in Algarve to deliver the group residence with third place within the championship. 

Michelle Gatting, who has been with the Iron Dames since 2022, will be part of the pair for her sixth time at Le Mans 24 Hours. She is presently driving in each the WEC and European Le Mans Collection LMGT3 classes for the Dames. The Dane is a earlier Ferrari Problem Europe champion in 2021 and claimed a podium within the 2013 VW Scirocco R-Cup. 

How have girls been concerned within the Le Mans 24 Hours moreover driving?

Ladies are concerned in all features of Le Mans, whether or not it is within the driver’s seat, on the pitwall, within the storage or in some other capability, although Leena Gade is arguably essentially the most profitable.

In 2011 Gade grew to become the primary girl in Le Mans historical past to be the race engineer of a successful group, when Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoît Treluyer took their Audi R18 to victory. She repeated the feat in 2012 and once more in 2014, and is presently working as an engineer within the IMSA sequence.



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