Over the years, motor racing has been treated as a sport that only resides in a man’s world. This comes as no surprise considering the fact that the sport is surrounded by a cloud of machismo and big egos. Why? All the tasks involved with the sport, going from the physical strain, the undeniable hazard of driving at extreme speeds with mere 6-inch-wide tires for support, and the mechanics, could clearly show that the stereotypical nature of the sport has appealed to males through the ages.
However, as motor racing rapidly evolves, especially in this modern age, we see a mix of genders, with a ton of females taking seats at the front row of the sport. In fact, women in motor racing make the sport an exciting one for a wider audience. Even though the ratio of women in motor racing is still a minority compared to their male counterparts, surprisingly, current demographics shows that women make up a larger proportion of competitors than ever before at various levels of racing – from the grassroots to the Pros.
The names of some of these women conjure up images as heroic as any man in the sport, while names of some notable female pioneers should be shown more respect after all these years. A ton of new talents have also risen to overtake the records set by their predecessors in the past.
But who are these women? We have listed 20 of them here!
20 Rahel Frey
The beautiful Rahel Frey hails from Switzerland. She is known on the race track as a great contender.
Frey has competed in events like the 24 Hours of Le Mans and open wheel races.
Rachel, by observation, never rests until she gets her work done and she has shown this on different occasions, in events like the International Formula Master racing series and the Eurocap Formula Renault 2.0. However, she isn’t just hard working. She also has the tenacity and dedication to the sport, with the required toughness that keeps her at the top of her game as an open wheel car driver.
19 Erica Enders
Erica Enders is another beauty with eyes that you could die for, long flowing hair that would get your attention and a cute smile that could be misleading. Erica is a professional stock race car driver. In 1992, she started racing while she was just eight years old. In 2012, Enders was able to win in the NHRA pro stock division. The amazing part is she is the first woman to ever win the NHRA pro stock division and she did it in grand style by beating Greg Anderson, a current four-time champion. This happened in the final race that took place at route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois.
18 Cyndie Allemann
When it comes to open wheel type events, the 32-year-old Swiss racing superstar Cyndie Allemann, is a sure specialist. She proved this by finishing in the 6th place at the Renault Speed Trophy F2000 in 2004. In 2010, she gained a prestigious achievement for participating in the 24 hours Le Mans and finishing the race – which is a big deal for any open wheel driver who started off racing Go-karts. And after that, she went ahead to race for Hitotsuyama Racing in 2012, and she still does today.
Based on the bloodline she follows, it’s no surprise that she has managed to garner all these achievements.
She is daughter to Kurt Allemann, a Swiss carting champion and sister to Ken Allemann, a cart racing driver himself. Obviously, the racing spirit runs in her blood.
17 Simona De Silvestro
Simona de Silvestro, popularly known as the “Iron Maiden” on track, is a hot Switzerland lass who currently competes for KV Racing Technology. Simona is a very competitive and aggressive racer on the track. One way that this is evident is in the way she screams out her lungs around the track, while on radio. She has participated in various Formula one events such as Sao Paulo Indy 300, long beach Grand Prix, and Indianapolis 500. It was on one of this platforms that she got her nickname. And speaking of that nickname, it was specifically chosen to send a message to her competitors, who would dare compete with her on the race track.
16 Caitlin Shaw
Shaw is not just a huge proponent of girl sports but she is one of the youngest female racing drivers that exist on the planet. Above all, her career has been quite juicy. From becoming the second youngest woman to compete in NASCAR’s top three series, Caitlin has also risen to holding the title of being the only female from New Mexico to compete in a NASCAR top 3 series event.
Shaw also succeeded in competing behind Joanna Long.
Caitlin also has an interest in promoting women in sports through so many avenues such as short motivation speeches in children’s hospitals, seminars, school talks. She talks a lot about the prowess and power associated with women in sports.
15 Ashley Force Hood
Ashley Hood is a gorgeous young female racing driver that has had her fair share of achievements in her career, especially when she nabbed an NHRA professional category. She has the ability to blast down the track at 250mph which is enough to catch the attention of anyone. It’s obvious that for Ashley, racing is a family affair since her sister Courtney is also a popular race driver and she is the daughter of the same drag racing champion. You may wonder why her last name is different but it is due to the fact that she’s married to Daniel Hood who also works for the racing team.
14 Tia Norfleet
Tia is a beautiful lady that happens to be the first and only African-American stock driver that holds a few titles. Matter of fact, she was also able to receive a NASCAR racing license. She is still in the business of stock driving and so far she has been able to win over 32 regional and local level events. Across the South-eastern United States, Tia was seen competing in late-model races held at short tracks in 2012. Another beautiful thing is that she is the daughter of a famed NASCAR driver named Bobby Norfleet. And more interestingly, Tia also loves to drag race as well.
13 Milka Duno
Milka is a stunning female race car driver that hails from Venezuela. She has been involved in competitions in the ARCA and Indy car racing series. However, she didn’t start her career on the race track. Milka is a former model who made good money from her good looks before she decided to switch to a different track. She has a postgraduate degree in several fields like naval architecture, marine biology, organizational development, and maritime business.
Duno has also received an award for being a record holder for the highest finish for a female driver in the 24 hours of Daytona.
This is a big achievement considering the fact that her racing career began when she was only 24.
12 Susie Stoddart
Susie is another attractive race car driver who has an impressive driving record. She is a British race car driver who hails from Scotland. She started out with carting and with time, she progressed through different motorsport ranks. In 2006, Susie advanced to other prominent events like Formula 3 and then made a cross-shift over to the DTM where she competed for the Mercedes-Benz team. Six years later, she was signed by Williams Formula One where she was assigned to work solely as a development driver. Another interesting yet confusing thing about Susie is that British fans know her as Susie Wolff while the Scots know her as Susie Stoddart.
11 Shannon McIntosh
McIntosh is an American auto racing superstar. In 2011, her career started with Wayne Taylor and Cape Motorsports racing. Apart from racing, Shannon was chosen for the cover of Seventeen magazine in 2011, which is just proof that apart from being tenacious on track, once that helmet goes off, she is a beautiful young lady. Matter of fact, she was selected for the cover out of a possible 35,000 other candidate ladies. Shannon found herself as an eight place finalist twice. This happened when she was competing in the F2000 National Championship. Presently, Shannon competes for Pabst Racing Services. At some point, it was assumed that Shannon might give Danica a run for her money. Even though this is yet to happen, it isn’t impossible.
10 Amber And Angela Cope
The duo of Amber and Angela is what we call a twofer in motor racing. The duo is known to be the twin professional stock automobile drivers. Actually, they are real twin sisters. There are also the first sets of twins to compete in one of the top 3 series of NASCAR. On October 23, 2010, they made their debut and made history in their mid-20s at the Camping World Truck Series in Martinsville, Virginia. That day, Amber finished as 26th while Angela came 30th in position. It wasn’t so bad for them, for a start.
Their racing history goes back to when they were 9, when they started racing karts.
Apparently, they got their fame when they raced at the nationwide series at New Hampshire in 2012 where they gave Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski a tough time.
9 Burcu Cetinkaya
This beauty doubles both as a TV presenter and a motor racing star. At the Hittite Rally in 2005, she made her debut. That same year as a VW Polo Ladies Cup Pilot, she won the Istanbul female rally championship. She was also the runner-up at the renowned Qatar National Rally Championship in 2012. She has always been a complete sports woman even outside the racetrack. The Russian beauty competed in the Turkish women’s snowboard championship, earning a gold medal for parallel giant slalom and giant slalom events. Cetinkaya also played basketball while in Robert College from 1992 to 1999. In 2008, she won her most prominent sports trophy at the Castro Fiesta.
8 Natasha Chang
This racing beauty is one great kart rider, who hails from Jamaica – of all places. Yes, not every sportsman or women want to be on the track, driving, while their feet are blessed like Usain Bolt. It happens that Natasha Chang decided to choose an absolute different sport which seems to be a bit odd from what people in her country are interested in. She is a great patriot of her country, although her Facebook name is displayed as Natasha “China Doll” Chang. She is known to have a distant Chinese Ancestry, even though she was born in the beautiful island of Jamaica. In 2008, she bought her first race car to go ahead to win a few Agility racing competitions as well as a Dover racing event.
7 Ana Beatriz
From the country of Brazil, comes this stock car beauty, Ana Beatriz. You can find her in the Izod Indy Car series if you want to see her in action. She is called “Bia” by most of her fellow colleagues on the race track and fans.
On July 12, 2008, the beautiful Brazil race ace won her first title in the Indy Lights race in the Super Speedway at Nashville.
After that win, she gained a prestigious record of being the first female to win a race competition in the Izod Indy Car series. Over time, Beatriz has cemented herself as a tough competitor to challenge on the race track.
6 Madalena Antas
This attractive looking lady is another fantastic car racer who hails from Portugal. She is an Off-road tour racing champion. Antas has been thrilling fans ever since 2007 when she got 2 female titles from the Off-road racing tournament in Portugal. She cruises a fully-race mod 400 horsepower Nissan Pathfinder currently. Her super mod car has been reformed to do not only racing, but also handle the tough and unpleasant terrain she drives through. Her prowess on track is so good, that sometimes you could even mistake her for a man behind the wheels.
5 Leilani Munter
Leilani Munter is a wonderful and attractive woman who doubles as an Environmental Activist and a world-class American race car driver. Thus, she can be seen as a professional juggler because she is good at both jobs – and isn’t that what you do when you are a good-looking 40-year old running the track as a superstar? Leilani Munter usually drove for the NASCAR Elite Division, before competing in open wheel style events. She has also driven in racing competitions like the Firestone, Indy lights, the development league of Indy Car, and ARC – a racing series.
4 Courtney Force
Courtney Force is a popular name in the drag racing circuit. Force, who was born in 1988, always had dreams of becoming a motor racing driver from a very young age. In 2005, she got her competitors’ license from NHRA, for the first time after putting so much commitment to the sport from a young age.
Her entry into motorsports poised her to set the drag racing circuit on fire with her astounding driving skills and performance.
This comes as no surprise, considering the fact that her father is John Force, the 16-time NHRA world funny car winner. She obviously follows the footsteps of her dad.
3 Maryeve Dufault
More than a race car driver, this Canadian- American woman is also an advertising spokeswoman and an active model. She has gained a ton of achievements, but amongst all, her most prominent ones are the Indy Car series victories in Indianapolis. Maryeve Dufault has a good record of competing in many race competitions such as the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Skip Barber, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, Formula Renault, Formula BMW, an RCA Racing Series, and star monster. Thanks to all this vast experience on the track, this is one woman very few people want to compete against.
2 Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick is one of the hottest female motor race drivers alive. She is also hot behind the wheels, as she is one of the most successful female motor racer drivers. She currently holds the record of being the only female to win an Indy Car series contest after her win at the Indy Japan 300 in 2008.
She is one tough motor racer who surely puts her male counterparts on their toes.
No wonder, in 2009, she went ahead to finish as the 3rd runner-up at the Indianapolis 500. Her race record was the highest any woman has ever reached on the track.
1 Leah Pritchett
Leah Pritchett is a drag racing driver from America. The beautiful lady is still fresh to motor racing at the professional level. In her first professional motor racing competition, she clearly defeated her fellow racer, Brittany Force. Presently, the American racing damsel is a member of the Don Schumacher Racing team where she drives an NHRA Top Fuel dragster. Her riding abilities and records have caused her to land some famous sponsors like Papa John’s Pizza. It’s obvious that the future holds greater things for this racing queen. She is still young, thus, she has many grand tours, rallies, etc. to conquer.
SOURCES: TheSportster.com, Jalopnik.com, TheDrive.com