In racing history, women have not been featuring in the limelight so dominantly as men. Worth noting, women have been participating in motorsports from time immemorial. Women in racing competitions might not be all that famous but there are tens of notable women in motorsport. From as early as 1901 when Camille du Gast used to participate through 1905 when Dorothy Levitt ran with a horsepower Napier, women have always participated. The following are a few notable women in motorsport across different years.
Maria Teresa de Filippis
Maria shot into the limelight in 1958 when she became the first female to take part in a formula 1 race. Surprisingly, Maria finished 10th in this debut race. She competed in the Belgium Grand Prix in 1958. With this, she became the first of five females to participate in Formula 1.
Maria started racing at age 22 by participating in Fiat 500. Back in 1954, she had finished second in the Italian Sports Car championship.
The American female racer got fame after winning a race on IndyCar series. She is the first female to take a pole in Dayton 500. In 2005, Danica became the Rockie of the year. In 2009, Danica set a personal best and a women record in Indianapolis 500. She finished third which was the best of the event’s history for a female.
She holds the record of the first to qualify and finish both Dayton 500 and Indianapolis 500 races. The aerospace engineer and flight instructor began racing in 1963. She started with SCCA circuit which had never been ventured by women.
She has participated in 11 IndyCar events with the 5th position as her personal best.
In 1976, Janet competed world 600 Winston cup and finished 11th. In the following year, she finished 6th in Bristol.
Ashley, Britanny and Courtney Force are set to smash all existing female racing records. Each of the sisters already has smashed at a record.
Ashley has won a Rockie of the year after NHRA Powerade Drag Racing. In 2008, she beat her father and won the first NHRA Profesional race. A year later, she beat her instructor in the race.
Brittany also won four wide nationals race in 2016. She has a new record on NHRA speed record of 3.676 seconds for over 1000 feet. She has bagged the feat of being the second woman to win top fuel championship.
Their sister Courtney has a win for the Funny Car in 2014. She also rated as the first female driver winner in NHRA’s history.
The career-high finish for Sarah Fisher came in 2001 when she finished second in Indianapolis. She keeps to herself the record of most starts in the 94 years history of Indycar racing. She is also the first and the only female to own a team in the IndyCar racing history. In 2000, Sarah Fisher made a record of the first female to make to a podium post in Kentucky Indianapolis 300.
Muldowney is the NHRA’s top fuel champion for 1977, 1980 and 1982. She is commonly referred to like the racing legend among the females. Muldowney has once won the IHRA’s southern nationals.
Leila set records afar when she became the first woman to win a point in Formula 1. This was from her 6th finish in the Spanish Grand Prix which was chaotic. She unsuccessfully attempted qualifying in the British Grand Prix of 1974. In 1977, use finished 11th in the 24 Hours in Le Manns.
Legge has the record of starting in IndyCar races, in Formula E, in the IMSA and in WeatherTech Sports Car Championships. Her best record is that of the first female to lead the race for twelve laps in Road Runner 225 in 2006.
A year later, she made into the millionth lap in the race’s history.
Simona de Silvestro
Simona can brag of being the first woman to collect a point in Formula E. This was in Long Beach ePrix. She has also managed a podium’s second step.
The American female racer who is also an automotive journalist is known mainly for Sebring race. Participating with Ferrari 250 GT, Denise has a win in the 24 Hours in Sebring. She further boosts of a win in Grand Touring class.
Several other notable women in motorsport exist. The likes of Alexis de Joria, Erica Enders-Stevens, Pippa Mann, Christina Nelsen, and Leah Pritchett continue to make a headline. Shawna Robinson, Angele Sampey and Sabine Schmitz are just a few other of the many making females count in motorsports.
Just like their counterparts, women have also greatly made a tremendous job in motorsport. This should be appreciated in equal measure as is with men.