Sharing the #85 Porsche 911 RSR-19 within the GTE Am division, Gatting, Bovy and Frey survived late strain from the D’station Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Tomonobu Fujii, Casper Stevenson and Liam Talbot to take the chequered flag with a winning margin of 5.548s.
The consequence made them the primary all-female crew to attain a victory in any class of the WEC for the reason that inception of the sequence in 2012.
The win additionally got here within the closing race for GTE automobiles, with the present GTE Am class getting phased out in favour of a brand new class for GT3 equipment in 2024.
Talking within the post-race press convention, an ecstatic Gatting mentioned the results of Saturday’s race proved that she and her team-mates are an equal match to their male counterparts within the pinnacle of GT racing.
“I simply loved the final trip on this automobile,” quipped the 29-year-old. “It has been an absolute pleasure having the chance to drive the Porsche this yr and eventually getting this win.
“It has been one thing we wished to attain for a very long time and eventually to get it for the final race, it is one thing that’s fairly emotional for all of us.
“I am very happy with the entire workforce of this challenge. That is precisely what we need to obtain and we need to show that we will compete on precisely the identical stage as everyone else and we’re right here to win races.”
Picture by: JEP / Motorsport Images
#85 Iron Dames Porsche 911 RSR – 19: Sarah Bovy, Michelle Gatting, Rahel Frey
Gatting needed to stave off the risk from Stevenson’ Aston Martin after taking on the #85 Porsche for the ultimate a part of the race, however the Danish driver mentioned she had the race beneath management regardless of coming beneath critical strain at one level.
“It was a little bit of a strain to be sincere and in addition stress for me contained in the automobile however in the long run we had been managing with our engineer. [With] the suggestions I acquired, he made me keep calm within the automobile.
“At one level I may actually see the Aston was very shut. So I used to be like okay, ‘I’ll have to begin to push just a little bit extra’.
“But it surely’s about discovering a steadiness of not killing the tyres at one level.
“I attempted to remain calm. When he acquired too shut I pushed a bit extra to extend the hole a bit, and on the finish with site visitors and so forth I managed to extend the hole much more.
“It felt fairly managed to be sincere.”
The sister #60 Iron Lynx Porsche led for nearly three quarters of the race, however the workforce needed to retire the automobile when it turned clear that its bronze-rated driver Claudio Schiavoni would not be capable to full his required driving time because of sickness.
Picture by: JEP / Motorsport Images
#60 Iron Lynx Porsche 911 RSR – 19: Claudio Schiavoni, Matteo Cressoni, Alessio Picariello
That promoted the Iron Dames automobile that Bovy had placed on pole again in entrance of the race, with the #85 Porsche having consolidated second by that time.
Bovy felt tyre administration was key to Iron Dames’ maiden GTE Am victory, with the extremely abrasive Bahrain Worldwide Circuit identified to be tough on the Michelin rubber.
“This race was about tyre administration and I believe we managed that fairly effectively,” she mentioned. “We anticipate the race circumstances and the truth that we had been going into the evening and we actually attempt to nurse our very good Michelin tyres one final time.
“And in my stint as I used to be additionally taking the beginning it was a bit like we did not know what to anticipate actually in these temperatures however on the finish the tempo was there and I believe the entire crew did a superb job.
“I am so happy with everyone. We have now been working actually arduous for this and it is lastly there and I believe the way in which was lengthy however we’re tremendous glad to be right here tonight.”
As essentially the most skilled driver within the Iron Dames crew, Frey has an extended historical past in sportscar racing, having first raced at Le Mans again in 2010 on the wheel of a Ford GT1.
Requested the place this consequence ranks amongst her different achievements, she mentioned: “What we at all times goal for is to make the workforce stronger. I added a good worth to the workforce with my expertise.
“To see that we will win races with the Iron Dames on the very best stage of GT racing makes me very proud.
“I preserve passing my expertise to the youthful era, there are youthful Iron Dames developing. That is additionally one thing that we give attention to for the long run. This makes me very proud.
“However however I’m nonetheless a racer and I like to race and I like to proceed just a little extra to maintain combating for extra wins.”