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5 Female Racers Absolutely Dominating The Sport

Racing is no longer just a boy's club

By Heidi Lux
October 22 2021

The first woman to join NASCAR did so in 1949. 72 years later, racing is still largely considered a boy’s club. But there are plenty of female racecar drivers who are breaking gender barriers along with the speed limit. And not only that, they’re dominating the sport, proving that just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you’re a non-starter. Here are some of the best female racers making waves today. 

Simone de Silvestro  

Hoping into her vehicle at the Indy 500: Shutterstock

Swiss driver de Silvestro is also known as The Iron Maiden and 
Swiss Miss. At 33-years-old, she already has 17 years of racing experience. In 2005, de Silvestro made her debut in Formula Renault. De Silvestro started in five Indianapolis 500s, tested for Sauber’s F1 team in 2014, and driven for Amlin Andretti in the 2015-2016 season of the FIA Formula A Championship. In 2010, de Silvestro was named Indy Rookie of the Year. De Silvestro is a Porsche factory driver, and has been since 2019. 

Katherine Legge 

2013 Indy 500: Shutterstock

One of the most well-respected female racers in the world, driving racecars was 
a childhood dream for Legge. Legge has competed in Formula E, Nascar, IMSA, and IndyCar. She has also competed in endurance racing including the 24 Hours of Daytona and European La Mans. British-born Legge became the first woman to receive the British Racing Drivers Club’s “Rising Star” accolade. She also received RACER Magazine "Most Promising Road Racer of The Year" award. The 40-year-old shows no signs of slowing down.  

Christina Nielsen 

Christina and Lars Nielsen at the Northeast Grand Prix: Shutterstock

The daughter of endurance driver Lars-Erik Neilson, Danish-born Nielsen was
mentored by her father. In 2010, Neilson began formula racing, and in 2016, she and her team won the 12 Hours of Sebring. Nielsen also won the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, and the 2016 IMSA SportsCar series Championship, and seven other podiums throughout the season. Neilson became the first woman to win a major full-season professional sports car championship in North America.  

Rahel Frey 

Rahel Frey as a keynote speaker: Audi

Audi factory driver Frey has busted down gender barriers in the sport. Frey competed in  a Eurocup formula Renault 2.0, international formula master, and the German formula three championships. In 2019, Frey joined Manuela Gostner and Michelle Gatting for Kessel racing, becoming the first all-woman to compete since 1977.  

Pippa Mann 

Pippa Mann checking lap times: Shutterstock 

British-born Mann moved to the U.S. in 2009 to race in Indy Lights. In 2010, Mann “became the first driver to win a pole position at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in any category and only one of two female drivers to be a race winner in Indy Lights.” She qualified for her first Indianapolis 500 in 2011, and became the eighth woman in history and first British woman to start the race. Today, she’s started the race six times and is the fastest female driver in history at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  

Evidence: Girls really do have more fun. 



Keywords: best female racers, women racecar drivers, women in racing  




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