Floersch teams up with Aitken, Falb for Le Mans assault - Iron Dames, Legge in the GTE-AM field
Six women at start the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans: Sophia Floersch teams up with Jack Aitken and John Falb for a really strong LMP2 squad; Lilou Wadoux will make her first start at the endurance classic with Richard Mille Racing; while Iron Dames will be the only fully-female team this year - confirming Michelle Gatting-Rahel Frey and Sarah Bovy for its #85 crew - Katherine Legge is expected to make her Le Mans debut with Hardpoint.
As teams announced today their official Le Mans line ups, Iron Dames will be again the only fully-female line up since 2019 - but we will find six women on the grid of the 90th edition of the legendary race on 11-12 June.
Michelle Gatting and Rahel Frey will return for their fourth time at the biggest race on the calendar with the Italian team, while for Sarah Bovy it will be her second Le Mans 24 Hours after last year's impressive debut.
The Iron Dames will be driving the #85 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo car in the LMGTE-AM class, having finished three times in a row in the top ten. Michelle, Rahel and Sarah will be looking to make further progress this year, after strong results in both FIA WEC and ELMS so far. A proven team, the trio is blending perfectly together and consistency will play an important role in such a complex race.
After two editions with an all-female crew in LMP2, Richard Mille Racing will move to a mixed line up as expected, with Lilou Wadoux set to take the start of the endurance classic alongside Charles Milesi and Sebastien Ogier - also sharing the #1 Oreca07 in the FIA WEC this year.
Making her third start at Le Mans, will also be Sophia Floersch, previously part of the Richard Mille Racing crew. Floersch has moved to Algarve Pro Racing for the full European Le Mans Series campaign - and finished second overall at the season opener at Circuit Paul Ricard.
Floersch teamed up with Bent Viscaal - in his first ever race in sports cars - for a silver-rated driver duo in ELMS. Viscaal will now move to ARC Bratislava for WEC and his first Le Mans, while Floersch will join forces with John Falb and F2 racer Jack Aitken, sharing the #47 APR Oreca 07 Gibson.
The trio just completed a two-day test at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza on Tuesday and Wednesday and, despite the rain, they clocked a good amount of laps and got to work together for the first time.
Jack Aitken - who famously contested his first F1 free practice for Williams at the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix and went on to make his racing debut later that year at the Sakhir Grand Prix - has recently focused his efforts on endurance racing. After an injury at the 2021 24H of Spa, he made a full recovery and entered his first race in LMP2 machinery two weeks ago at Le Castellet.
American John Falb is widely considered one of the fastest Am drivers on the grid, which put the Algarve Pro Racing's trio in a great position for the LMP2-ProAm classification.
"I’m super happy to have Jack [Aitken] onboard", said Floersch, who has shown impressive speed in LMP2 since her sports car debut and made history in ELMS with two consecutive podiums. "He has done an F1 race and a lot of work with several F1 teams, and I think he has proven to be a very quick driver."
“Our line-up in the LMP2 Pro-Am category is really strong, with John [Falb] being one of the fastest amateurs out there" - she continued.
"There’s definitely potential for a podium or even a win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. That is our goal and we will do everything possible to achieve it. Anything can happen, but we’re really confident and I’m looking forward to the big one.”
The release of the 2022 Le Mans entry list highlights a further female participation in the LMGTE-AM class: IMSA GTD front-runner team Hardpoint will line up British ace Katherine Legge, together with driver/owner Rob Ferriol and Adrien de Leener.
Legge's CV needs no introductions: a F1 test driver with extensive experience in DTM, Formula E, Indycar, ChampCar, IMSA, Legge has 10 starts at the 24 Hours of Daytona under her belt, but has yet to start at Le Mans.
In 2020, she was supposed to race the full ELMS campaign with Richard Mille Racing, but a testing accident ruled her out for the entire season. One year later, she made three appearances in FIA WEC with Iron Dames, but then focused on her IMSA program with Hardpoint stateside.
A Le Mans 24H start would crown an already outstanding racing career for one of the most successful female drivers of the last 20 years.
The 2022 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will get underway on 11th June.