Motorsports have long been considered to be male sports and they were dominated by men in every aspect. However, during all of the history of motorsports, there were examples of women who proved that they had their place in these adrenaline and gasoline-fueled sports as well.
Today, things are quickly changing. Women are becoming an integral part of the sport, as they are proving to be a decent competition for men. Women today take roles both as drivers, engineers, and mechanics, and can be seen in races such as Formula One or Rally Raid.
Let’s see who the most important women in motorsports are today.
Danica Patrick has been dominating the IndyCar and the NASCAR championships for over a decade now. She was born in Wisconsin and has left a mark in motorsports that cannot be erased. She has some amazing results on the track to boast about but she was not idle off the track either. She appeared in Hip Hop videos and did FHM photoshoots.
She is still competing in NASCAR today and since 2005, she has had some big results. In 2005 she took fourth place in her first Indianapolis 500, as well as a podium finish at the same race in 2009. Then, in 2014, she claimed the pole at the Daytona 500.
Ever since the 1950s, Japan has been a pioneering car and motor-related technologies. Some of its most notable accomplishments in motor racing are powering McLaren in the 1980s and dominating the Formula One races in the 1990s. Today, Japan has Keiko Ihara to bring back the old glory to the country.
She started racing in 1999 but encountered a lot of prejudice in her home country. Eventually, she found her place in the Ferrari Challenge Championship and the European Formula Renault.
In 2014, Keiko Ihara became the first Asian woman to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. She finished 13th overall.
Pat Moss is an iconic woman in motorsports still today, even though she raced back in the late 1950s. She was the younger sister of the world-famous Stirling Moss, who won the Grand Prix 16 times. Pat Moss first started racing horses but soon fell in love with horsepower.
She ended up winning three international rallies, racing in cars such as Fords, Lancias, Saabs, and Minis. In 1958, she took the fourth place in the RAC Rally and also finished fourth at the Liege-Rome-Liege Rally. This made her the first woman to finish in the top ten of this prestigious racing event.
Michèle Mouton had many talents when she was young. At first, she was great at ballet, skiing, academia, and much more. However, when she tried racing for the first time – that was it, she was instantly in love!
She got the place as one of the Audi Works drivers and won the World Rally Championship four times, ended up on the podium nine times, and won 160 stages.