Sarah Bowie had some doubts when she and her teammates were told they would be racing in pink suits and pink-livery cars this season, but success on the track with the Iron Dames quickly dispelled any doubts.
The 33-year-old Belgian driver made motorsport history at the Monza Six Hours last month, becoming the first woman to take pole position in an FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) race. This team was second in class. The first women’s team on the WEC podium, and again won the Gold Cup category by three laps in the Ferrari 488 GT3 EVO at last weekend’s 24 Hours of Spa.
The class was won by a GT3 female crew for the first time in the Belgian competition’s 98-year history, and Bowie’s team, Denmark’s Michelle Gatting, Swiss racer Rachel Frey and France’s Dorian Pin also lead GT World. The challenge is in their class. Otherwise we will be seen as just those girls who tried to attract. Get noticed by having colorful cars and playing all-female lineup cards.
“I think the team decided to go for it because they knew we had the potential to get some great results… Now, with what we’ve already achieved this season, I’m very happy we went with that colour. It belongs to us.” The Iron Dames compete in the GTE Am class in 2019 as part of a project founded by French entrepreneur and racer Deborah Meyer, who also heads the FIA’s Women in Motorsport Commission.
The project aims to support and inspire active women in motorsport. The Iron Dames team managers in various championships are women, as are many of the mechanics and marketing.
Bowie hoped that the success would have a positive effect – not only in showing that women could compete with men, but in encouraging more female participation in all fields.” I hope it will encourage other women and potential sponsors to see that this is actually possible. ,” she said.
Evidence from around the racetrack and on social media showed an increasing interest from young girls wanting to get involved in the sport.” I often say that none of us started doing motorsport because we wanted a cause for women in motorsport. We’re racing because we’re racers, we love it,” Bowie said.
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“But when you’re part of a project like the Iron Dames, you realize very quickly that everything you do, every impact you make, matters to something bigger than yourself.” Where does it stop? How much can we do? I don’t have an answer but we will continue to fight for the result and share it with our followers.”
A podium in the GTE Am category remains the target at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the Iron Dames seventh this year and 40th overall, after an early puncture”We have a lot of races, we still have a lot to do. Some chances to fight for nice positions and certainly the expectations will be even higher now that we have shown we can win races,” Bowie said.
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