Katherine Legge joins Iron Lynx for ELMS campaign, Gatting to enter Ferrari Challenge
Italian powerhouse team Iron Lynx Motorsport Lab announced its 2021 plans, which will see fully-female crews in both WEC and ELMS: British ace Katherine Legge will join the squad for ELMS, while Michelle Gatting will combine her WEC program with the Ferrari Challenge season.
Born in 2017, Italian powerhouse Iron Lynx Motorsport Lab has quickly established itself as one of the benchmark in endurance and GT racing. One of the most competitive Ferrari teams, the outfit created by Andrea Piccini is now ready to tackle five racing series in 2021 after its title-winning campaign in 2020.
The team behind the Iron Dames project had in fact announced earlier this month that they would extend their presence in both the World Endurance Championship and the European Le Mans Series – where the inaugural dames Rahel Frey, Manuela Gostner and Michelle Gatting battled for the top-3 positions both in 2019 and 2020.
The all-female team project – created by Ferrari ambassador and visionary Deborah Mayer – is also supported by the FIA Women In Motorsport commission, led by motorsport legend Michéle Mouton. In their debut season in 2019, the Iron Dames were fourth in ELMS and made history when they crossed the finish line at the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans in ninth class position.
Frey, Gostner and Gatting were confirmed for their sophomore season in 2020 and again secured fourth in the championship standings with 3 podiums to their names and repeated the outstanding result at the Le Mans marathon.
Entering their third year together, the three women racers will step up to WEC in the Iron Lynx-run #85 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo car, while the #83 Ferrari will tackle the ELMS with a new drivers line-up: British racing ace Katherine Legge has in fact been signed to the team and will team up with bronze-rated Manuela Gostner – who will thus have a really busy racing season – and with experienced Swiss driver Rahel Frey.
Legge, who was set to make her ELMS debut last year in the LMP2 class with the newly-formed Richard Mille Racing team, was forced to a one-year stop after a testing crash at Le Castellet had left her with a broken leg.
After contesting the 2020 Daytona 24-hour race together with Frey, Calderon and Nielsen, Legge was back on track this January, as the 40-year old joined Hardpoint EBM for this year's edition of the American endurance race.
Katherine is likely one of the most popular and influential figures in women's motorsport – a driver that has extensive experience spanning from single-seaters to prototypes and GT vehicles. She famously drove the Minardi F1 car in 2005, becoming one of the few women to have tested F1 machinery, before competing at the highest levels of world's motor racing: her resumé includes Champcar, IndyCar, IMSA, DTM, Formula E.
Legge's addition represents a further step forward for the Iron Dames project, which is really gaining momentum and proves that a competitive group of women in the right equipment can aim at the very top.
Iron Dames will also see its distinctive liveries on track in the Ferrari Challenge Europe competitions: after two guest entries in 2020, Michelle Gatting will be back for more glory in the Ferrari one-make series, while the line up for the team's entry in the Michelin Le Mans Cup is still to be announced.
The pink and black visual identity has been once again slightly updated by design firm Garage Italia, while partners of the team will also include Ferrari dealer Niki Hasler AG, Sabelt, Sanremo Coffee Machines, Caffè Carraro, Fratelli Beretta.