The automotive world is known to be a very masculine environment. Fortunately, women are also in the automotive world. They can be ingenious or even pilot! We are going to see the top 10 female drivers in the automotive world.

Michèle Mouton

Born June 23, 1951 in Grasse (city organizing the Rallye Grasse-Alpin), sometimes nicknamed by her French peers and the West German press Le beau volcan noir, is a French rally driver, daughter of Provençal horticulturists, whose vocation first was to become a specialist educator for adolescents in difficulty.

French rally drivers Michèle Mouton (saluting) and Françoise Conconi win the Ladies’ Cup in an Alpine Renault on January 22, 1976 during the Monte-Carlo Rally.

Michèle Mouton took part in the world championship for the first time during the 1974 Tour de Corse and then won 4 world rallies in an Audi Quattro (1981: Sanremo Rally, 1982: Portugal Rally, 1982: Acropolis Rally, 1982: Brazil Rally) . His last race ended with a retirement from the World Championship, at the 1986 Tour de Corse.

As co-driver and member of the Compétition Grasse Group, she took part in the World Rally Championship for the first time during the 1973 Monte-Carlo Rally (January 19), alongside Jean Taibi in a Peugeot 304 S.

As a driver now, she participated for the first time in national competition in the women’s Paris-Saint-Raphaël rally in 1974 and, the same year, in the World Rally Championship during the Tour de Corse, on November 30, on an Alpine Renault A110 1800 with which she will be ranked 12th (co-driver Annie Arrii).

His last participation in the World Championship, at the 1986 Tour de Corse in a Peugeot 205 Turbo 16, ended in retirement.

Alongside the rallies, she competed alongside Christine Dacremont and Marianne Hoepfner in the 1975 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Moynet LM75 (built by André Moynet) from the Société Esso team, and won the 1,601 to 2,000 cm3 category (21st overall). general), finishing behind the other female team, Anny-Charlotte Verney (11th).

In 1988, Michèle Mouton participated in the creation of the Race of Champions in memory of Henri Toivonen. In 2010, she became the first president of the FIA commission aimed at promoting women in motor sport. When he became president of the FIA, Jean Todt announced his desire to appoint directors for the major championships. Michèle Mouton was appointed World Rally Championship manager on 4 February 2011.

 


Camille du Gast

Camille du Gast, born May 30, 1868, died April 24, 1942, came from a bourgeois family living in the Paris region. She owned land there, as well as a business manufacturing men’s clothing.

She is an avid sports enthusiast, especially motorsport. She marries Jules Crespin, son of Jacques François Crespin, who is the person who created the magazine “the palace of novelty”. When her husband died, she inherited a huge fortune. She then took the opportunity to embark on her passion: sport. She is one of the first women to hold a driver’s license, has 2 cars in her name, and is the second woman to participate in a car race.

In 1901, she became the first Frenchwoman to take part in a car race. She completed the Paris-Berlin race, finishing 33rd, with a Panhard-Levassor 20CV.

Unfortunately, in 1902 she is confused with another person. She posed naked for an artist who had covered this woman’s face with a mask. She was then given the nickname “the woman in the mask”. This case goes as far as New Zealand, which shows the extent of this error.

But she is not discouraged. In 1903, she took part in the Paris-Madrid. She ranks 8th for a long time but comes to the aid of an injured person, and ends her race in 70th place. As a result of this race, the German manufacturer Benz offered her to run under their colors for the Gordon Bennett Automobile Cup in 1904. Her request was refused by the French State which, from March 5, 1904, prohibited any woman from competing in motorsport. Hearing this news, she reacts in a very fair way by asking why, and what she did wrong to ban women from all motor racing. Henri Desgrange, spokesperson for the ACF, will say that she is a very good driver, but that he does not want other women less good than her to take the wheel in car competitions.


Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick, born March 25, 1982 in Beloit, is an American racing driver who competed in the IndyCar Series single-seater championship between 2005 and 2011. In 2008, she made history, becoming the first woman to win an IndyCar race. She also holds the list of first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500, and finished 3rd in 2009 in Indianapolis. She thus becomes the highest ranked woman in history for the Indianapolis 500 Miles.

Like many drivers, she began her career with karting. She left the United States in 1998, to go to the United Kingdom. In 2000, she finished second in the Formula Ford Festival with her Mygale.

She returned to the USA in 2002, under the wing of Bobby Rahal, who then became team manager. In 2003, she participated in the Formula Atlantic championship, which is the antechamber of the champ car (now IndyCar Series).

She had a discreet debut in IndyCar in 2005, but the Indianapolis 500 Miles event caused Danica and her team to explode in the media. Indeed, she is among the fastest in trials! She managed to qualify 4th (historic record for a woman in the Indianapolis 500), and even led the race the next day until a few laps before the finish. She finished in the same position as her qualification: 4th. She is named “Rookie of the year” (best beginner of the season). Danica continues with good performances by taking pole position in Texas, but does not manage to win. She finished 12th overall.

The death of his teammate Paul Dana marks the year 2006.

In the same year, Danica’s car was equipped with a Panoz chassis, which made it dangerous and impaired its performance. Highly anticipated at the 500 Miles, it only reached 8th place, sealing its fate with this inefficient chassis. The Dallara chassis appears for this end of the season, but this change will not be enough for Danica, and will change teams next season. Indeed, she announces her departure for the Andretti-Green Racing team, for the 2007 season.

During this 2007 season, she achieved very good performances, climbing the podium three times, including a second place in Detroit which will be her best career result so far. She finished 8th as in 2006 on the Indianapolis 500 Miles.

2008 is the year of consecration. During the Indy Japan race, she would finish in first place, becoming the first woman to win a race in one of the major championships in history.

In 2011, she started in the second division of NASCAR, and will be a rookie during this season. She will participate partially in this competition, because she will continue her season in IndyCar in parallel. In 2012, a shoe ruined his chances of winning a NASCAR event. Indeed, the shoe pierced his radiator, which will cause him to abandon the race.

But in 2013, she became the first woman to be entered full-time in the CUP Series. She races with the Stewart-Haas Racing team, a Chevrolet SS “Go Daddy” N°10. She took pole position at Daytona, becoming the first woman in history to be able to achieve this feat. His best result will be a 6th place in Atlanta.


Lella Lombardi

Maria Grazia Lombardi, otherwise known as Lella Lombardi, was born on March 26, 1941 in Frugarolo, Italy, and died on March 3, 1992 in Milan. She is an Italian driver, who is known for her performance in F1, being the only woman in history to have scored points in Grand Prix. She also participated in endurance GPs, with the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1975, but also in the 1000 kilometers of Monza (1st in category 2L) with the Frenchwoman Marie-Claude Charmasson. It returned to Le Mans in 1976 (20th), 1977 (11th) and 1980.

It was in 1975, during the Spanish Grand Prix, that Lella Lombardi scored his first points in F1, finishing 6th in this race. This GP will not come to an end. This is why she only scored 0.5 points, with her 6th place. She then holds the record for points scored by a woman in F1, as well as the most starts at the wheel of an F1 for a woman. Indeed, she made 12 starts.


Jutta Kleinschmidt

Jutta Kleinschmidt is a German racing driver, born in Cologne on August 29, 1962. She takes part in rally-raid competitions, and lives in Monaco. She is now the only woman to have won the Dakar Rally.

After obtaining the equivalent of the baccalaureate in Germany, she was accepted at Isny Polytech (Academy of Natural Sciences and Techniques) in order to study physics in particular. She obtained her engineering degree and was hired by BMW in 1992.

In 1992, she won 1st place in the women’s motorcycle rally Paris-Le Cap but also in the Pharaohs rally. She repeated the feat in 1993 at Paris-Dakar.

From 1994, she abandoned 2 wheels to switch to 4 wheels. She wins the UAE Desert Challenge with a Mitsubishi Pajero. The pilot achieved this performance in the years 1995 and 1996. Jutta finished second in the World Cup rally-marathon in two-wheel drive, during this year 1996.

In 1997, she became the first woman to win a Paris-Dakar event.

She left the earth to go on the ice, and won the Women’s Andros Trophy at the wheel of a SEAT Cordoba in 1998.

The next 3 years were extraordinary for her. In 1999, she finished 3rd in the Paris-Dakar, the best place ever achieved by a woman. In 2000, she finished second overall in the rally-raid World Cup, all categories combined.

But in 2001, the coronation. She won during this year 2001 the Paris-Dakar. She is none other than the first woman in history to win this event. She then took the direction of Japan with Mitsubishi, a team with which she won the Italian rally-raid for the team, while finishing second in the Rallycross World Cup.

In 2002, she finished second overall in the Dakar, then 3rd in 2005 with a Volkswagen Touareg.

2007 was Jutta’s last appearance, finishing 15th at the wheel of a BMW X3.


Simona De Silvestro

Simona de Silvestro is a woman born on September 1, 1988 in Switzerland, with Italian origins. She goes through karting, before trying Formula Renault 2.0 in Italy before leaving for the USA in 2006 and its Formula BMW championship. She finished with a good record: a victory and 6 podiums, including 2 in Indianapolis, which at the time was the opening of the F1 GP. Simona will then become the first woman to stand on the Indianapolis podium. In 2007, she followed the same path as Danica through Formula Atlantic. Discreet beginnings with a 19th place in the championship. But in 2008, she started the championship better with a victory at Long Beach, becoming the second woman to win a round in this discipline after Katherine Legge.

In 2010, she embarked on the discovery of the IndyCar Series. She will drive with the HVM Racing team. For her first Indianapolis 500 Miles, she finished 14th, and won the Indianapolis rookie of the year distinction. Unfortunately for her, a first accident happens and enormously annoys her team, because of the slowness of the marshals to intervene on her car which caught fire.

She will continue with the same team in 2011 and 2012, but will not do anything of note, except for another spectacular accident during practice at the Indianapolis 500 miles, where her car had a technical problem, sending it into the wall, the took off, and found his head a few centimeters from the runway. Indeed, De Silvestro’s car was not performing, like all cars being equipped with Lotus engines during these seasons.

In 2013, change of team! She joined KV Racing Technology, which allowed her to finish on the podium at the Huston GP, thus joining Danica Patrick and Sarah Fischer, as the only women to have finished on the podium in the IndyCar category.

In 2014, she signed with Sauber in F1, becoming their test driver. She will do two days of driving, in order to obtain the super License. This license is mandatory to drive in F1 on GP.

In 2015, she embarked on the last two rounds in the FE. She will finish 11th and 12th, but at the same time she continued her season in IndyCar with Andretti Autosport.

In 2016, she joined the Amlin Andretti team and scored a few points during one round of the season (9th place at Long Beach).


Gilberte Thirion

Gilberte Thirion was a Belgian car driver, born on January 8, 1928 in Brussels, and died on May 21, 2008. With a short career, she made an impression and made a name for herself in the world of motorsport. She participated in endurance races on circuits. In addition, she has also participated in hill climbs, and various and varied rally competitions.

She competed in her first rally in Cannes, during the Rallye du Soleil in Cannes at the wheel of a Healey in 1951. At the time, she was still a communications officer for the company Spark Plugs.

In 1952, she discovered Porsche chassis, with a Porsche 356 SL, and found herself with her father who was her co-driver for 4 rallies. She forms a duo with Germaine Rouault for the African rallies of Morocco and the 12 Hours of Casablanca.

In 1953, she again tried the experience with Porsche, with the Porsche 356 1500 S, being entered in circuit races, thus winning the Coupe Des Dames and the Coupe du Roi for the best Belgian crew during the 24 Hours of Spa with the French Annie Bousquet with the Fiat 1100. To end this beautiful year 1953, she was named class winner in the Tour of Belgium with Gonzague Olivier.

In 1954, she tried the experience of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Unfortunately for her, she had to abandon the race.

1956, the year of glory for Gilberte, who will be crowned with her teammate Nadège Ferrier during the very first Tour de Corse at the wheel of a special “factory” Renault Dauphine. That year, she received the National Sporting Merit Trophy.

She will end her career in 1957, after having participated in the 24 hours of Sebring, with a 35th place, and second in class. This decision came a few months after the fatal accident of one of his former teammates Annie Bousquet.


Cathy Muller

Cathy Muller was born on November 21, 1962, in France, in the family of a certain Yvan Muller, multiple WTCC world champion.

She knew how to show herself in the world of motorsport with karting. Cathy won the European Championship in 1978 in Biesheim in the 100cc category.

Thanks to a victory at the wheel of the ELF in 1981, she had a full season in the French Formula Renault championship, where she finished in 8th position.

In 1983, she participated in the European F3 Championship, but also in the Macao GP in F3, where she finished in 11th position.

She married footballer Yves Ehrlacher, and had a child named Yann Ehrlacher who is now a professional racing driver, teammate of her uncle Yvan Muller in the WTCR and reigning world champion.


Giovanna Amati

Giovanna Amati, born on July 20, 1959, is an Italian racing driver, and is known for her life full of movement, luck, and bad luck. Born into a wealthy Italian family, she started motorsport with Formula Abarths. At 18, she was kidnapped by a group “specialized” in the kidnapping of rich heirs. This episode of her life will forge her character, and will become a strength for her. She managed to integrate F1, but her performance was poor. The luck of having made it to the premier class, mixed with the misfortune of an underdeveloped car, and a team that didn’t have a penny to help Giovanna achieve her dream of racing in F1.


Inès Taittinger

Inès Taittinger was born on April 7, 1990, and is a French racing driver.

In 2013, she was part of the crew made up of Margot Laffite, Arnaud Tsamere, Xavier Daffe, Pierre-Yves Rosoux and Fabrice Brouwers registered for the 25 Hours of Spa VW Fun Cup.

During the same year, she was entered in the Tourism Endurance Trophy (TTE), and finished first in Albi, and 3rd in Magny-Cours with the CD SPORT team.

In 2015 and 2016, she participated in the European Le Mans Series, she was entered with the Pegasus Racing team, with teammates Léo Roussel and Rémi Striebig with a Nissan LMP2 on car n°29. She also participates in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where she had to retire on the 292nd lap. In the VdeV championship, it finished 3rd at the 12 Hours at Motorland Aragon, and 5th at the 6 Hours of Magny-Cours

March 29, 2023

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