Doriane Pin completes outstanding season with WEC LMP2 Rookie Test
"This has been the perfect way to end a really great season for Iron Dames" – Doriane Pin rounded out her extraordinary 2022 season with the FIA rookie test in Bahrain, as the young French driver took to the track in the championship-winning JOTA LMP2 prototype.
Few drivers impressed more than 18-year old Doriane Pin in 2022.
Three years into her car racing career, the Frenchwoman is widely regarded as one of the most promising names in GT/sportscars after a quick rise over the past couple of seasons.
The Pocket Rocket – as she's jokingly called for her height – is a concentrate of energy, talent, determination and character. At a first glance, it is immediately clear that she is one of those drivers that you know will go far.
A karting champion in her native France, Doriane made the step up to race cars in 2020 and contested a partial campaign in the Clio Cup France. At the same time, she was selected in the inaugural edition of the Girls on Track – Rising Stars program, which saw her advancing all the way to the final in Maranello. While Maya Weug was eventually the winner of the first selection, Pin had impressed so much that was nevertheless picked up by Iron Dames, for her first year in the Michelin Le Mans Cup.
The step from the small Renault Clio to the Ferrari 488 GT3 of the ELMS-support series was huge – but Pin was immediately up to the task, unfazed: she would collect five podiums out of six races, partnering Manuela Gostner and Sarah Bovy.
The higher the class, the more Pin impressed.
2022 was the year of truth for young Doriane, now effectively a member of the Iron Dames in all the series entered by the all-female squad.
With the aim of succeeding Michelle Gatting as the Ferrari Challenge Europe champion, Doriane Pin contested the Italian one-make series – in an effort to build experience in GT racing.
Her season was not only successful – it was utterly dominant: she claimed 13 podiums out of 14 races. Nine of them were victories, in an unbelievable campaign that saw the young French lady sealing the European title with two races to spare.
While the Ferrari Challenge success built her confidence and refined her skills in sprint races, Pin started to consistently feature in the main team's line up in European Le Mans Series as well as GT World Challenge Europe.
At the end of July, Doriane joined Sarah Bovy, Michelle Gatting and Rahel Frey for the most important GT race on the planet: the 24 Hours of Spa. In a historic moment for both the Iron Dames project and women in motorsport, the all-female team claimed class victory.
She made both WEC and ELMS debut – stepping on the podium at Spa and taking another breakthrough victory at Portimao, in the team's first win in European Le Mans Series.
After such a remarkable season – with starts in all the major sports car championships – Doriane Pin rounded out her record-breaking year with one more significant opportunity: the FIA WEC Rookie Test. Doriane was in fact selected as one of the two female drivers to get the chance to drive one of the championship-winning cars, specifically the LMP2 prototype.
“So far it has been a great season for me and I’m very excited to try out a car I’ve never driven before." – Doriane said at the announcement.
“The LMP2 car is a completely different beast to the GT cars I’ve driven so far! And it is vital for young talent to gain as much experience of different types of race cars. I am very grateful to FIA WEC and would like to thank them for this opportunity!”
After the ELMS season finale at Portimao, she had the chance to briefly drive the championship-winning Prema LMP2 as well, in order to familiarize with the car.
JOTA Sport clinched the WEC title in a tightly fought LMP2 class after the 8H of Bahrain and Doriane Pin climbed in the cockpit of the #38 JOTA Oreca-07 Gibson on Sunday morning, for 5 exploratory laps around the Sakhir International Circuit – in her first visit to the track.
In the afternoon, things got serious and lap times started to drop. Doriane lapped in 1:53.213 and was eighth fastest – barely 1.2 seconds from the top of the timings.
"Being selected by FIA WEC as part of the Iron Dames to test an LMP2 car is an important step in my career and for women in motorsport." – she commented after the test.
"I have learned a lot. Experiencing an LMP2 car was just amazing, the speed it can take in the corners and the downforce is quite different to the GT cars and you need to be accurate to get some good pace", she explained. "Additionally it was the first time for me driving at this circuit and I enjoyed a lot experiencing a new track."
In her 30 laps, Doriane Pin continued to prove that Pocket Rocket is likely to have a very bright future in the world of sports cars.
"This has been the perfect way to end a really great season for Iron Dames" – she added.
"Not only have we made history multiple times this year, but now showing that young women can have a career at the highest level of motorsport is something I am very proud of, thank you to everyone who made it possible."
While the real challenge now will be to repeat such an extraordinary season, Doriane Pin will be one of the pillars of the next Iron Dames' era, as the Italian team enters a new manufacturer-deal with Lamborghini from 2023.
Iron Lynx/Iron Dames already confirmed their presence in the next GT World Challenge Europe Endurance as well as IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup, starting from the iconic 24 Hours of Daytona in January. Further details on their 2023 programs - as well the drivers line-ups - are yet to be confirmed.