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  • Writer's pictureRACERS

Sophia Floersch to drive F1 car for the first time at Gulf Historic GP

Sophia Floersch will drive a Formula 1 car for the first time in her career at the upcoming Gulf Historic GP in Dubai, where the German racing star will get behind the wheel of the 1992 Brabham Judd - the car which saw the last qualifying attempt by a woman in F1 to date.

Photo by: Ben Sutherland

In her young career, Sophia Floersch has already driven some of the fastest race cars in the most exciting championships in the world; from high-downforce single-seaters up until the FIA F3 level - becoming only the second woman to do so after the rebranding from GP3 Series - to GT3 machinery of the highly competitive DTM, as well as the equally challenging LMP2 prototypes, which she brought to the class top ten in her rookie participation at the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours.

Missing on her CV, though, is the most coveted of them all: a F1 car.

A versatile driver, the 21 year-old from Munich will now have the chance to make up for it, as she will drive the 1992 Brabham Judd F1 car at the upcoming Gulf Historic GP Revival in Dubai, UAE, the next 25-27 November.

The event will consist of a proper race format, with practice, qualifying and two races, with entries divided into four classes: F1 cars from the 70s+, Sports cars from the 80s+, F1 cars from the 90s and GT & Prototypes from the 00s.

Some of the most iconic cars will therefore hit the track at Dubai Autodrome in a spectacular festival of motorsport.

"I'm really looking forward to it", Floersch said. "The car it's eight years older than me", she joked.

When the German racing star will climb in the Brabham BT60B, it will not only be a historic moment for her career, but also for the sport. The last F1 race car built by Brabham was in fact driven by Italian Giovanna Amati in 1992, the last woman to attempt qualifying in a F1 Grand Prix.

Amati was entered at the opening three rounds of the 1992 season - the South African GP, the Mexican GP and the Brazilian GP - but could never make the starting grid.

The BT60B, powered by a Judd V10 engine that produced approximately 660 hp, proved to be uncompetitive and neither drivers qualified until round 9 after Eric van de Poele had started the season opener from last. After three attempts, Amati was replaced by future F1 champion Damon Hill.

Giovanna Amati remains to this day the last woman to have attempted to start a F1 race - with only two female drivers having taken the start: Italian compatriots Maria Teresa de Filippis (1958-1959) and Lella Lombardi (1975-1976).

Divina Galica and Desiré Wilson also made unsuccessful attempts in 1978 and 1980.

Exactly 30 years later, Sophia Floersch will step in Amati's car and, while not on an official F1 GP weekend, she will have the opportunity to take the start in a race among some of the most beautiful F1 cars from the 90s, ideally continuing that interrupted thread. With the hope that, in the near future, a female racer - maybe Floersch herself? - will get to break that hiatus that still stands since 1976.



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