Iron Dames make strong impression across multiple racing fronts from F1 Academy to karting

Published on Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Iron Dames make strong impression across multiple racing fronts from F1 Academy to karting

From the European Le Mans Series and Michelin Le Mans Cup at Paul Ricard to the IAME Euro Series at Franciacorta Karting Track and from F1 Academy in Miami to Rallye Castine in the French Gravel Rally Championship, there the Iron Dames were centre stage in a wide range of motorsport disciplines around the world.

 

Michelin Le Mans Cup

Célia Martin and Karen Gaillard made a resounding statement in only their second race, securing a pole position, a first for the Iron Dames in this championship, and clinching second place on the podium. In qualifying Célia put in an impressive performance and ended the session a tenth and a half clear of AF Corse to take the fastest time in the session.

>From pole in the MLMC GT3 class, Célia got the hour and 50-minute contest underway but lost a position in the opening skirmishes. Célia wouldn’t be so easily defeated, though. Within a lap, she had scythed her way back past and into the GT3 class lead. Successfully navigating several Full Course Yellow periods, she began to stretch her legs, extending the gap to over 10 seconds before making the team’s mandatory pitstop.

The team served a penalty for a start procedure infringement at this time. Karen Gaillard re-emerged at the wheel of the #83 car 10 seconds shy of the lead. From there, she held her advantage over the third-place car and brought the Lamborghini Hurácan GT3 Evo 2 home to claim second.

 

European Le Mans Series

After missing out on victory at Barcelona, the Iron Dames returned to Le Castellet with strong determination. Behind the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 R, Sarah Bovy continued the team's form in qualifying by clinching another impressive pole position and setting the tone for the race.

Through the opening stint, Sarah upped the pace and opened a gap to the rest of the pack. When it came time to make the first pitstop, she had a comfortable buffer. An uneventful second stint for Sarah meant the lead was maintained by the time Rahel Frey got behind the wheel with two hours and 20 minutes still to run.

With an enviable gap of 51 seconds to the next closest challenger, they could envisage comfortably the last hour of the race until an unfortunate timing with a Full Course Yellow during the last pitstop pushed them back to a frustrating fourth position at the finish line. The focus now shifts to the FIA World Endurance Championship, with the Spa-Francorchamps round taking place on May 9-11. They will be counting on their proven pace in ELMS to reverse the unfortunate trend at Imola in July.

 

F1 Academy

Iron Dame and Mercedes-AMG Junior Driver, Doriane Pin, discovered the Miami International Autodrome for her second weekend with the F1 Academy. While she didn't quite replicate her dominant performance from the season opener in Saudi Arabia, she still demonstrated her worth by clinching two podium finishes.

Securing second and third places in the two races, she collected valuable points for the championship she remains fiercely competitive in. Back in Europe, she will make her Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine debut next weekend at Hockenheim alongside Marta Garcia, opening a new chapter for Iron Dames in single-seaters.

 

French Gravel Rally Championship

Iron Dames Sarah Rumeau and Julie Amblard claimed their second top 10 finish in the French Gravel Rally Championship with a hard-fought seventh place at the Rallye Castine Terre d’Occitanie in challenging wet and muddy conditions.

They equal their result from the first round and demonstrate with their Ford Fiesta Rally2 their ability to adapt and progress with 4WD in all types of conditions.

 

Karting

16-year-old Spaniard Natalia Granada took up the challenge of the IAME Euro Series and stood out from the 118 competitors. Taking pole position on Friday, winning a race on Saturday and fighting for the top 10 again on Sunday, she demonstrated her progress both in terms of driving and fighting spirit. Also taking part in Franciacorta was Vicky Farfus, marking her very first experience at this level this year. Despite technical problems, she was able to complete plenty of kilometres in a competitive setting, which is the objective of her first racing season.

It was also a positive weekend for Mia Oger in NSK Round 1. Despite a few mistakes, which are part of her learning curve, she delivered good comeback drives providing her with valuable experience and growth opportunities as she starts her racing career.

The performances throughout this particularly busy weekend across endurance, karting, single-seaters and rallying reflects the continued growth of the Iron Dames project to support women at the highest level of sport across different disciplines and generations.

 

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