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Bovy released from hospital after accident ends Iron Dames challenging Six Hours of The Glen

Iron Dames endured a challenging weekend at the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, where the trio was steadily making their way up the order after a start from the back, before a crash ended their race prematurely when sudden heavy rain showers hit the track. Sarah Bovy was safely released from the hospital after precautionary checks overnight.


Rahel Frey, Michelle Gatting, Sarah Bovy, Iron Dames Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2, IMSA, 6 Hours of the Glen, Watkins Glen 2024
Photo credits: IMSA /Jake Galstad

Just one week after the 24H of Le Mans, groundbreaking all-female team Iron Dames were back on track for a new challenge - the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, as they made their return to the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup after the 12H of Sebring in mid-March.


After a challenging start since the switch to Lamborghini machinery, Iron Dames had made remarkable progress and were able to secure a sixth place finish at Daytona - topping their previous best in the premier North American sports car championship.


Sebring, however, was a disappointing weekend, with the team showing once again determination and racecraft in the opening stages, charging back from the tail end of the field to the top five before a technical issue forced the #83 Lamborghini to an early retirement.


Since then, Iron Dames have made leaps forward in FIA WEC and the all-female trio returned to battle steadily for the race win at every outing: while they didn't have the straight line speed to contend for the top three at Le Mans, Sarah Bovy, Michelle Gatting and Rahel Frey were flawless at La Sarthe and claimed their second consecutive top-five at the iconic race.


A few days later, the same trio headed Stateside for the third round of the IMSA Endurance Cup, aiming for more steps forward aboard the pink #83 Huracan GT3 Evo2.

Rahel Frey set the fastest lap for the team in the opening practice, in a 1:47.569 that put Iron Dames in P16 as they worked on set up and race pace.

Progress was made into the second session, with the Swiss racer once again recording the team's fastest lap in 1:46.186, the ninth fastest time of the GTD class.


Rahel took over driving duties for the qualifying session as well, and placed the #83 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2 in tenth in class. However, the all-female team would have to start from the back of the pack due to an engine change overnight.


On Sunday, the green flag waved for the iconic 6H of the Glen under cloudy skies. Rahel Frey made an impressive start, gaining four positions by overtaking the #86 MDK Motorsport Porsche, the #45 WTR with Andretti Lamborghini, the #13 AWA Corvette, and the #43 Andretti Motorsports Porsche. However, an early incident involving the #18 ERA Motorsport LMP2 Oreca and the #81 Dragonspeed Oreca brought out the first caution just a couple of minutes into the race.


As the race resumed, Frey continued her charge, overtaking AF Corse's Heriau and then the #66 Gradient Acura, securing P15 in the GTD class. She soon closed in on the Cetilar Ferrari driven by Lacorte, just moments before the latter was hit by the Crowdstrike Racing by APR LMP2 car of George Kurtz. The collision sent the Ferrari 296 hard into the barriers and triggered the second safety car of the race.


When the pit window opened under caution, Rahel Frey handed over the driving duties to Sarah Bovy. Thanks to a very efficient pit stop by the Iron Dames crew, the Belgian driver rejoined the race in P11. As the race reached the first hour mark, Bovy displayed exceptional pace, matching Frey's times and hunting down the Conquest Racing Ferrari of Manny Franco. She overtook Salih Yoluc's Lone Star Racing Mercedes, and despite briefly losing out to the #44 Aston Martin, she continued to push forward.


Rahel Frey, Michelle Gatting, Sarah Bovy, Iron Dames Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2, IMSA, 6 Hours of the Glen, Watkins Glen 2024
Photo credits: IMSA /Jake Galstad

Bovy maintained a competitive position, running between P10 and P12 in the GTD class, and even climbed as high as eighth before making her second pit stop of the day. Michelle Gatting took over next, rejoining the race in P12.

Shortly after, a full course yellow was deployed when the Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier LMP2 hit the barriers at the exit of turn 1.


With most of the field pitting again under caution, Gatting stayed out and climbed to P6. However, on older tyres, she lost a few positions at the restart and fell back to P12. As rain started to fall, the conditions became increasingly tricky. The rain intensified, and while half the field managed to pit for wet tyres, a big crash for the #55 Proton Mustang of Giammarco Levorato brought out the safety car again - with Gatting having to stay out on slicks until the pits opened.


When the pit lane finally reopened, Sarah Bovy was back in charge of the Iron Dames' Lamborghini, rejoining the race in P11. However, with the rain easing, Bovy opted to pit again for slicks as the race got back underway. Bovy had a strong restart and quickly picked up a few positions, advancing to P11. She was the fastest of the trio, demonstrating incredible consistency despite the very changeable weather conditions.


Unfortunately, the rain started to intensify again, and Sarah, who had been lapping with great pace, went wide into turn 10, slipping on the kerb and hitting the inside wall hard. After 94 laps, the Iron Dames Lamborghini was out of the race.


Sarah was out of the car but was later transferred to a local hospital for precautionary checks due to the heavy impact. She stayed overnight and was released on Monday before flying back to Belgium.

"All necessary checks have been made, and Sarah is doing fine," Iron Dames stated in the evening. "She is staying overnight in the hospital for observation as a precaution."


It was a challenging weekend for the Iron Dames, whose pace in IMSA struggled to replicate their progress seen in FIA WEC with Lamborghini machinery. The overall lack of pace forced the three racers to drive the car over its limits but Rahel Frey, Sarah Bovy, and Michelle Gatting gave their all and held on remarkably well in extreme weather conditions, surviving sudden rain showers often on slick tyres. Bovy was particularly impressive, with the best average time and consistency among the team.


The most positive news of the day was however Bovy's release from the hospital following her unfortunate accident - an rare occurrence for the Belgian racer.

“I’m alright,” Sarah said in a video posted on the team's social media profiles on Monday. “I’m out of the hospital and on my way to the airport. I’m going to fly back to Belgium today already. I’m feeling okay. Obviously it was a big hit, not so fun. I got a bit shocked there, but it’s all good after a few hours of sleep."


“So thanks everybody for taking good care of me at the track, in the hospital, my teammates, the team, you’ve been amazing. I can’t wait to be back with you all."

Hopes are for a prompt return behind the wheel but plans for the upcoming 24H of Spa next weekend remain unconfirmed.

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