Racing has always been a male-dominated sport, but there have been some great female drivers throughout history. Whether it be Camille du Gast, Sara Christian, or Shirley Muldowney, these women have paved the way for future generations of female racers and made an impact in the motorsport industry.
Despite being a male-dominated sport, there are many talented and experienced women who are competing in car racing today. They are proving that they can be just as successful, or even better than their male counterparts. Here are a few of the top female racers on the circuit:
Susie Wolff (Williams F1)
While it’s true that only one woman has ever been successful in Formula 1, there have been many other women who have stepped up and competed. From Susie Wolff in Williams F1 to Leilani Munter in NASCAR, there are women who are changing the way we view racing and creating a new generation of champions.
Sabine Schmitz (BMW)
While some might argue that she wasn’t the best race car driver in the world, Sabine Schmitz certainly made an impression on the racing scene with her unmatched performances at the Nurburgring. Not only did she win two of the most prestigious races in Germany, but she also drove more than 20,000 laps at the legendary Nordschleife track.
Desire Wilson (Ford)
Having won the South Africa Formula Ford Championship, Desire Wilson is a name that you might not be familiar with. However, this African-American has been making a big name for herself on the racing scene. She won the coveted Driver to Europe grant and was the first Emirati female racing driver to participate in a Formula E test.
Lella Lombardi (March, RAM, Williams)
Among the many female F1 drivers, Italian Lombardi stands out as the most accomplished. She raced 17 Grand Prix events between 1974 and 1976, scoring half a point at the 1975 Spanish GP.
Maria de Villota (Spanish)
While the story of this Spanish driver is quite a mystery, she did win races in a variety of series, including the FIA WTCC. She even finished the 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race in 2005.
Michele Mouton (Audi)
While this French racer might not be the most famous name in racing, she is certainly a household name in her home country of France. She started out in racing as a co-driver, but once she took to the wheel herself, she quickly became a force to be reckoned with.
Danica Patrick (IndyCar)
She may not be the most famous female racer in the world, but she definitely is a star in her own right. She is currently the reigning IndyCar champ and has an impressive 114 IndyCar wins in her career so far.
Mackena Bell (Nevada)
While it might not be the most recognizable name in racing, Mackena Bell is still a very capable driver. She got her start in go-karts and hasn’t been afraid to put her head down and get after it on the race track.
British female racing drivers
British women are making history in motorsport. They are reclaiming the limelight that was once reserved for men only.
As female drivers continue to break through the barriers and challenge the rules of their male counterparts, they are transforming the sport for everyone involved. The world’s leading motorsports teams and car manufacturers are investing in women to drive their cars, but there is still much more that needs to be done.
One of the most promising young female racing drivers in Britain is Macie Hitter. At just 15 years old, the Griston, England, driver has been winning go-kart races since she was eight and boasts a collection of racing trophies to show for it.
She started out in her dad’s karts and quickly realised that she had a natural talent for driving fast. She took her skills to the next level and began competing in a variety of different races, earning her podium finishes.
In addition to her passion for racing, Hitter also possesses a keen sense of self-confidence and self-motivation that she uses to push herself to the limit. She says that it’s her drive to complete her goals that has helped her overcome the hurdles that have come her way so far in her career as a karting driver.
Another young racer with a huge ambition is Morgan McIntosh, an American who has spent her first year as a racing driver in the Grand National series. She’s a determined young woman who doesn’t hold back and never stops working to improve her speed, handling and overall driving technique.
Although her first year was challenging, she is confident in her abilities and cannot wait to take the next step in her racing career. She plans to attend university in Melbourne, Australia, and use the experience she has gained during her rookie season to make more gains on the track, ultimately putting her name on the hat of a Grand National points leader.
Rachel Moss, a British woman who has been a racing driver for over 40 years, knows the hard work and tenacity it takes to be successful. She has competed in many different kinds of racing, including the International Formula Master racing series and the Eurocap Formula Renault 2.0.
When she isn’t competing in a race, Moss spends her time in her home, surrounded by her family and animals. She is also a passionate advocate for women in motorsport and helps to promote the FIA’s Girls on Track initiative.
Her determination to be a competitive race driver is evident when she says that she wants to be “the best in the world.” She is constantly pushing herself and her driving skills, and believes that her hard work and perseverance will pay off once she enters into the real competition.
Rodalyn Smith, a Scottish woman who has been a drag racer for over 50 years, was a little nervous about her driving ability in a men’s class when she first started out, but she pushed through it. She has now won several races and is an accomplished driver who believes that teamwork is the key to success.
German female racing drivers
Germany is home to some of the world’s best female racing drivers. From the likes of Sabine Schmitz, who died on Tuesday, to Jutta Kleinschmidt and Sophia Floersch, German women have taken on a lot of challenges in the world of motorsports.
For a start, there was the first woman to win a race – Camille du Gast at the 1901 Paris-Berlin. That was a long, gruelling event, starting with an incredibly difficult start line and finishing at the Berlin Wall. Even though she started last of all 122 competitors, du Gast maintained her pace and finished a respectable 33rd, proving that it was not just luck but also sheer determination and perseverance that got her to the finish line.
The next year, a female driver was the first to win the Dakar Rally – Jutta Kleinschmidt. The Dakar, or ‘Amazon Rally’ as it is known in French, was a huge test of her endurance skills and she was unstoppable until she reached the final stage at Senegal.
Her victory paved the way for other female racing drivers to follow her footsteps and win major races. Susie Wolff, a seven-time Formula 1 racer and now team principal at Venturi, is another example.
She has launched a campaign called ‘Dare To Be Different’ that promotes equality in the motorsport world and is one of the most prominent figures in the #MeToo movement. She has also helped to raise the profile of women in sports through her work with the Women’s Sports Foundation and by hosting women’s football tournaments at her home in France.
As a young girl, Sabine Schmitz had a passion for speed and adventure. Growing up in the shadow of Germany’s famous Nurburgring, she spent a great deal of her spare time driving cars and riding horses.
By the time she was 17, she had already done more than 20,000 laps around the storied track. That was enough to earn her the title of the Nurburgring’s Icon.
Eventually she decided to compete on a full-time basis, joining a BMW race team in 1996 and working with Johannes Scheid. She won the Nurburgring 24-hour race in both 1996 and 1997, as well as the VLN endurance championship in 1998.
She then joined the Top Gear show on BBC TV, becoming a regular guest and fan favourite. Throughout her career, she was a force of nature for female drivers in the motoring world and her positivity, cheeky smile and willingness to put her foot down often stood out from her male counterparts.
Her career in racing was short-lived, however, as she suffered from a rare form of cancer. She fought hard and ultimately beat the disease, but she passed away from it on Tuesday at the age of 51.
It is a sad loss for her family, and the sport she loved so much. Many people across the racing world have paid tribute to Sabine, and her legacy will live on in the hearts of her fans for years to come.