Notable Women in Motorsport

40

The world has changed and women have proven themselves capable of carrying out tasks that were previously thought to be restricted to men. Fortunately though, times have changed and women have been seen as equally capable as their male counterparts.

In terms of motorsport, the first race that involved women took place in Paris in 1897. This was followed by another important race in 1901 which featured the first woman, Camille du Cast of France to participate in an international motor race. Since then, a great many female racers emerged and showed that they are not only daring and talented, but also very sensible, stylish, and resilient.

Such racers include Baroness Maria of Italy (1920s), Hellé Nice of France (1920s/30s), Kay Petre of Canada (1930s), Ada Pace of Italy (1940s), Sara Christian of the U.S. (the first female racer to participate in NASCAR in 1949), Anne Hall of Great Britain (1950s/60s), Stirling Moss of Britain (1960s), Michele Mouton of France (1980s/90s), and Giovanna Amati of Italy (1990s) who is still regarded as the most recent competitor in the world of motor racing.

Women continued to participate in many different races and rallies of all sizes and circuits across the world and the following lists the recent women in motorist.

1. Jutta Kleinschmidt

Born in Germany, Jutta started racing in 1988 and now she’s known as one of the greatest women in motor racing and the first and only woman to win-the-race during the Dakar-Rally in France in 2001. The rally, also referred to as “The Dakar” was originally held in Paris in France to Dakar in Senegal but due to several reasons, it was relocated to South America since 2009. Compared to other motorist races, the rally is considered as one of the most challenging in the world and Jutta strained every nerve to win the race.

2. Maria Costello

This’s another female racer known for her motor skills and in 2009, she was awarded an MBE due to the excellent services in motorcycling. She has participated in many different motorcycle events such as the Isle-of-Man TT which is regarded as one of the most dangerous and demanding competitions. During the course of her racing career, she has suffered injuring and broken several bones from time to time. She was featured in the Guinness-World-Book of Record in 2004 for being the fastest female racer to lap at a mean speed of 114.7MPH during the international Isle-of-Man TT race.

3. Danica Patrick

Being an American born female racer, Danica has participated very well as a racing driver and she emerged as one of the most successful motorists. She took part in the IndyCar, Indianapolis, and NASCAR races earning several awards such as Indianapolis 500 Rookie-of-the-Year award, IndyCar Series Most-Popular-Driver award and NASCAR Nationwide-Series Most-Popular-Driver awards.

4. Keiko Ihara

Ihara is of Japanese nationality and has taken part in many international races being held in different parts of the world. Some of the series she has been involved in include the Formula-Renault 2.0 U.K. (2000), Asian-Formula 2000 (2002), British-Formula Three (2005), Formula-Le Mans-Cup (2009), and FIA World-Endurance-Championship (2012/13). She has won in various Asia Le-Man’s Series making her one of the most notable female racers in motorist.

In conclusion, motor racing is becoming one of the most significant sporting activities in the whole world and according to several sources, the majority of women will become interested and get engaged in such sports in the near future.