Iron Dames trio to continue ELMS journey
The fully-female Iron Dames trio were confirmed on the 2020 ELMS grid, with Rahel Frey, Michelle Gatting and Manuela Gostner to make their return to the championship with Italian Iron Lynx squad.
In 2019 they became the first 100% female crew in the European Le Mans Series and finished the legendary 24 Hours race at La Sarthe. Now, Rahel Frey, Michelle Gatting and Manuela Gostner confirmed their presence on the grid of the 2020 ELMS championship, at the wheel of the Iron Lynx #83 Ferrari F488 GTE EVO.
After writing a small yet very significant page of the recent motorsport history, the Iron Dames will therefore continue their journey in the European-based championship, aiming for new remarkable results in the upcoming 2020 season in the GTE class.
The project founded by the Ferrari Ambassador for Women In Mortorsport Deborah Mayer concluded a very positive debut season last year, as the team formerly lined-up by Kessel Racing was able to fight for the overall GTE class victory until the last rounds of the championship. Unfortunately, a race-ending crash forced the ladies to a premature retirement on the first lap of the season finale round at Circuit de Algarve, Portimao, as the Iron Dames were caught in the middle of a multiple car accident.
The incident resulted in the all-female trio to complete the season in fourth place in the GTE class standings, denying them of the chance to conquer the top-three in an equally unforgettable year.
The 2019 European Le Mans Series season started from the French venue of Circuit Paul Ricard and the Iron Dames immediately proved their speed by taking the chequered flag in second place, which resulted in their best seasonal performance, later equalled by another runner-up spot obtained in the fourth round at Silverstone.
Frey, Gatting and Gostner added to their 2019 ELMS campaign two fourth place finishes at Circuit De Catalunya and on the Belgian track of Spa Francorchamps, together with a sixth place in the Temple Of Speed of Monza, Italy.
The Iron Dames also made headlines as they entered one of the biggest motorsport events on the planet, the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans. After a breathtaking race, the women trio crossed the finish line in ninth GTE-AM class position.
Michelle Gatting, Manuela Gostner and Rahel Frey signed off their 2019 with the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi in December, which was a perfect training ground for the upcoming season as the closely-knit team looks forward to add more achievements to their names and keep writing important chapters for women in motorsports.
"What an absolute joy!! The ELMS 2020 official entry list is out! With #83 Iron Lynx and with my teammates Rahel Frey and Michelle Gatting we relive our amazing Iron Dames project in the ELMS again this year!" - wrote Italian driver Manuela Gostner.
"Super happy and excited to announce that I'll continue with my Iron Dames in European Le Mans Series for 2020. We will be racing once again in our beautiful Ferrari 488 GTE together with the Italian team Iron Lynx!" - echoed Michelle Gatting. "Can't wait to get the season started and I've no doubt that we will be even stronger this season".
The young Dane also hinted to some more important news to follow: "But more news to come soon, so stay tuned guys!".
The Iron Dames project, this season lined-up by the Italian squad Iron Lynx Motorsport Lab, won't be the only fully-female crew on the grid: the brand-new team Richard Mille Racing announced a LMP2 entry for Katherine Legge, Tatiana Calderon and Sophia Floersch.
The European Le Mans Series season, after a pre-season testing in Barcelona, will kick-off its championship from the Spanish venue in April.
Full 2020 calendar:
5th April, Barcelona, Spain
10th May, Monza, Italy
19th July, Le Castellet, France
5th September, Silverstone, UK
20th September, Spa Francorchamps, Belgium
18th October, Portimao, Portugal
In Rahel's words:
"The 2020 ELMS is set, Iron Dames are going to be fast, are going to be wild."
Ph Credits: Stefano Arcari / Iron Lynx Motorsport Lab