It was only a matter of time: Sarah Bovy clinched Iron Dames' first ever pole position and made series' history at the 6 Hours of Monza.
They were so close last week – when Bovy put the Iron Dames Ferrari on the front row for the ELMS 4H of Monza. It could have come at Imola, or at Paul Ricard before. A bit of luck was missing here and there, but Sarah Bovy consistently proved that the first ever pole position for the all-female project was within reach. And she delivered once again in spectacular fashion.
At the 6 Hours of Monza, fourth round of the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship, Iron Dames progressed practice session after practice session, with Bovy, Gatting and Frey always separated by a few tenths in one of the most consistent GTE-Am line-ups.
Their fourth place in FP3, a few hours from qualifying, showed that the pink #85 Ferrari had the potential for yet another assault at that elusive top place.
In the ten minute qualifying session, Bovy went out against some of the biggest names in endurance racing and led the early pace in the GTE-Am class, 1 tenth faster than Christian Ried – as the two resumed a duel started last week in ELMS.
Ben Keating would then improve and top the timing sheets in the #33 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage, and would remain the driver to beat until the very final minute.
Sarah Bovy had in fact a really strong lap, setting the fastest first and second sectors – but had to drop back in sector three when she got too close to a car in front.
Having lost a bit of momentum, she settled in fourth place until the final attempt.
Keating was leading Ried and Dalla Lana – with Flohr also temporarily slotting in third – but Sarah Bovy was on fire and clinched the historic pole position with a 1:47.431 lap that put Iron Dames 0.227 seconds clear of the #33 TF Sport Aston Martin.
“It was a crazy session to be honest" – Sarah commented. "I was really unhappy with what I was doing in the first eight minutes – a lot of little mistakes coming from the fact I knew we could do it. We worked really hard for it and I wanted to deliver. Then I got the message on the radio that it was time to do the lap and I’m really happy that I managed to clip it at the end, it was a nice lap and I pushed with everything I had, thinking about my teammates, about my team, about all the hard work that we’ve done.”
At her first full-season in WEC – she made her debut in the World Championship here in Monza last year, mid way through the season after being promoted from the Michelin Le Mans Cup line up – Sarah Bovy has never stopped to impress ever since.
“I did my first race in WEC last year and doing the first pole position here is a great achievement and I’m very lucky I had the opportunity to do it" – she continued.
Today's result marks the first ever pole position for a woman in WEC, let alone for an all-female squad. Sarah, though, already has her eyes on the big goal tomorrow.
“It’s nice, but what we want to do tomorrow is bigger than that – and it’s something we want to achieve together" – she said. "What we did today is a good first step but at the end of the day the hard work is for tomorrow – we know that we have a lot of competition in the class."
"There are a lot of strong teams, but we have worked really hard during the whole week to focus on the race pace and I have good confidence that we can be very competitive.
I know also that on this track and in the World Championship you really need to put everything together to have a good result – so that’s the aim for tomorrow.”
The 6 Hours of Monza will go green on Sunday 10th July at 12:00pm local time.