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Women in Motorsport: from its origins to the present day

If you think Motorsport is a purely male occupation — be sure to read this material. In honor of International women’s day is to remember the biography of the most successful and iconic women pilots, forever inscribed his name in history.


Parisienne Mary March, Desing nicknamed Camille du Gass was born in 1886 into a wealthy family and adopted a child a love of secular amusements. On her way to the fascination with motor sport was fencing, shooting, hunting, skydiving and even hot air ballooning. The first launch of Camille became a race of “Paris-Berlin” 1901. Driving a 20-horsepower Panhard, Madame du Gass reached the finish line in 25.5 hours, and took 33rd place out of 47 crews. Later in his career restless French, which is considered to be the first Danica Patrick in history, to be more effective finishes.

Camille du Gass the race “Paris-Berlin” 1901.Camille du Gass the race “Paris-Berlin” 1901.

Women in Formula 1

In 1948, the 22-year-old Italian Maria Teresa de Filippis showed up for the race by Amalgaminsha coast behind the wheel of a Fiat 500 just to prove to his brothers that knows how to drive a car. And proved. At the age of 28 years, Maria-Theresa took second place in the national championship of Italy in races, and thirty-two made it to Formula 1, becoming the first woman in the history of Big Prizes. In 1958 and 1959 de Filippis five times came on stages, but actually started only three times: in Monaco she failed to qualify two years in a row.

Maria Teresa de Filippinerna Teresa de Filippis

Unlike Camille du Gass and Teresa de Filippis, Maria Grazia Lombardi was born in a modest family of Turin and Motorsport started late: only at the age of 26 years old Italian started karting. However, his career was in the mountain. After winning the championship of Mexico in the “Formula Ford” and making starts in the British Formula 5000, by 1974, the 33-year-old Lele (alias of this childhood, she took to speak in the race) made it to Formula 1. In 1975, Lombardi spent a full season for the team March, and even half the scoring points (the race was stopped prematurely) on GP of Spain. Lella is the only woman who completed the race in Formula 1 hit points.

Lombardelli Lella Lombardi

A native of Hertfordshire — Divina Mary Galik was a professional skier and three times (1964, 1968, 1972) represented in the Olympic games the British team. Switch to Motorsport, the British decided in the first half of the 1970s, and by 1976 had reached Formula 1, where he took part in three stages (GP great Britain 1976 GP of Argentina and the Brazilian GP in 1978). Despite the fact that all three attempts to pass the qualification ended in failure, Divina Galik is worthy of a place in this collection. Just more than half-century history of the Big Prizes at the start were only five women.

Divina Galaydina Galik

Desiré Randall Wilson is a South African racer, who managed to reach the top of Motorsport. Given that in the entire history of Formula 1 were only nine pilots from South Africa (I bet you won’t remember anyone but Jody?) this fact is interesting in itself. Desiree tried to get to the start of the Grand Prix of great Britain, 1980, driving a Williams FW07, but in the best traditions of Divines Galik wouldn’t qualify. From 1982 to 1984, Mrs. Wilson tried in vain to qualify for participation in the “500 miles of Indianapolis”. And after was marked by participation in the American CART series and SCCA.

Desiree, Wellingtone Wilson

Giovanna Amati remains the fifth and last woman who took part in the Grand Prix of Formula 1. In 1992, she tried three times to qualify behind the wheel of the dying Brabham team. But everything went wrong. Although rich in Italian is considered a typical rent-driversa, it is not easy to blame the lack of skill level. On the way to Formula 1 the Giovanna had victory in Formula Abarth and Formula 3. And after leaving Grand Prix, the Italian scored a victory in the women’s championship of the super bowl Porsche. In 1997 the Amati has started at “12 hours of Sebring” (the race ended with a gathering) and performed well in the two-hour race at Le Mans (11th place).

Giovanna Amati Matijuana

Rally and rally-raids

The Frenchwoman michèle Mouton enjoyed gigantic respect from Motorsport fans and pilots of all series and ages. And not in vain. Rally career started in 1974 (at the age of 23 years), Michelle quickly declared themselves behind the wheel of a private Renault-Alpine A110 and soon received an invitation to the Porsche speak for them in a rally on the Carrera RS. Exactly driving a Porsche, Michel won his first victory at the Rally Spain, 1977. In 1981 Mouton and Audi factory team has signed a contract for performances in the WRC. In the first season, Michelle won at the wheel of the Audi Sport Quattro S1 only one victory on the Rally San Remo. But the following year almost won the championship, having conceded only 12 points the legendary Walter Rerly.

In 1982, Michelle Mouton Audi Sport Quattro S1 scored more wins in WRC than anyone, but still lost the title to Walter Rerly.In 1982, Michelle Mouton Audi Sport Quattro S1 scored more wins in WRC than anyone, but still lost the title to Walter Rerly.

Last photos to see the face of Michelle Mouton almost impossible, so we corrected. It is on the left. However this slide is not about her, but about Fabrizia Pons — girl-the Navigator with which Mouton shared their major successes in the WRC. The idea to create an all-female crew came from Audi. The Fabrizia read the transcript in French, so Michelle — as she said herself — “I have not had time to think”.

Michelle Mouton and her Navigator, Fabrizia Pospisil Mouton and her Navigator, Fabrizia Pons

And this is Jutta Kleinschmidt. Neither more nor less the first and only woman who won the marathon “Paris-Dakar” 2001, driving a Mitsubishi Pajero. Some will remember that this success would not be without a time penalization of Jean-Louis Schlesser (by the way, Jutta and Jean dated for three years), but history does not tolerate subjunctive mood. By the way, in later years, Jutta will sign a contract with Volkswagen and will be in rally-raids in pair with Fabrizia Pons. Today, 55-year-old German already is at the start, but it works as an instructor.

Jutta Kleinshmidt, Kleinsmidt

Queen of the Green hell

Sabine Schmitz was born on 14 may 1969 in the small town of Adenau (an area of 18 square kilometers, the population approximately 3,000) around the nürburgring circuit. There’s a German woman spent my childhood and youth. First lap on the Nordschleife Sabina passed at the age of 17 years old driving my mom’s BMW 325i, and after two years was able to show a brilliant time (9 minutes, 18 seconds) behind the wheel of a Ford Sierra Cosworth. In the mid-nineties Schmitz twice won the nürburgring 24 hour race and he performed brilliantly in the national touring car championship VLN. Today, Sabine Schmitz is rightly called the Queen of the Green hell. She regularly drives the Ring Taxi (BMW M5). In 2016, the German got an invitation to become co-host of the BBC show Top Gear.

Sabine Schmitz Mezzanine

The ocean

Danica Patrick somehow knows almost everyone. American was marked by successful performances in karting, won the second place at the festival of British Formula Ford and has built a distinguished career in the Indycar series. Patrick has frequently been the best American at the end of the season. And in 2009, was on the podium at the finish of the legendary race Indy 500. There were rumors that Honda wants to arrange for Danica tests in Formula 1, but it didn’t happen. Under the curtain of 2008, the Japanese manufacturer has put a lock on the gate of his factory formulicheskimi team.

Danica Patrick Patrikalakis

Shirley Maldon rightly called the first lady of drag racing. In 1977, a 37-year-old Shirley became the first woman who won in the prestigious national category, Top Fuel. Then, Maldini won this race again. And then another. For his really long career, Shirley had to survive a serious accident, the result of which began a year and a half in a hospital bed and five complex operations, and complex financial times. But the passion for racing was much stronger than all the trials of life: Maldini hung up the helmet on a nail only at the age of 63 years in 2003.

Shirley Baldonieri, Maldon

Halfway to success

If you do not delve into the details, the buzz surrounding the career of suzy Wolff — wife of Executive Director of champion Mercedes team in Formula 1, Toto Wollf — it looks bloated and baseless. Judge for yourself: in November 2009, Toto becomes a shareholder of the British team Williams, but only a year and a half later the band announced that 29-year-old suzy becomes the pilot of her youth (!) programs. For all the time Mrs. Wolff took part in four Friday practice — and talk about Formula 1 is gone. However do not forget that on account of the Scottish racer was a successful performance in the race, podiums in Formula Renault, as well as several seasons in the DTM.

Suzy Vallisuta, Wolff

I would like to do without sad stories, but I would also like to honor the memory of Maria de Villota. She was born 13 January 1980 in Seville and was marked with participation in such race series as the WTCC and the ADAC Procar. In 2005, Mary took part in the race “24 hours of Daytona”, and in 2009 signed a contract with the team Atletico Madrid to participate in the championship Superleague Formula.

A couple of years de Villota made his debut behind the wheel of a Formula 1 test of the Lotus Renault GP team. And in anticipation of the 2012 season, Marussia F1 Team signed the Spaniard as its test pilot. Amazing, it would seem that the news was the beginning of the end. That summer, during the tests at the airfield in Duxford by accident Villota crashed into gidrolift trailer of his own team in a closed Park. The racer suffered serious head injuries and face and blind in one eye.

A year later Maria was found dead in a hotel room in Seville, where she had planned to make a presentation of his book “Life is a gift”. Cause of death was bleeding in the brain, triggered by earlier trauma.

Maria de Villamaria de Villota

Not to end on a sad note, I will tell about one more Spanish pilot. 29-year-old Carmen Chord spent four seasons in Spanish Formula 3, where he twice stood on the podium. Then — though far less successfully — participated in the GP3 championship. And in 2015 and 2016 was appointed pilot for the development of the team Lotus (Renault). Today, the Expressway is part of the Commission of the FIA women in Motorsport and is actively lobbying for the establishment of women’s championship of the “Big Prizes” — though it is populism in its purest form. There are also rumors that in the near future, Carmen will start in the championship of Formula E.

Carmen Hardcoren Chord

Dear ladies, we congratulate you and wish you never to deviate from your dreams and certainly not to put any gender barriers!Women in Motorsport: from its origins to the present day

Photo: from archive of the author

Women in Motorsport: from its origins to the present day

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