Although how many even remember this year’s 24 Hours
of Le Mans race now?
Presumably only Hard Core 24 Heurs du Mans Aficionados
will remember that last year's Le Mans event made history with the advent of
two 100% Le Femmes Drivers line-ups, one LMP2 Prototypes entry, and one LM GTE
Am Tintops' "Saloon."
As the Prototypes entry was the No. 50 Richard
Mille Racing Team Alpine A470/Gibson V-8 with Columbia's
Tatiana Calderon, then contesting Japan's Super Formula series being the only
name I recognized of this trio of
drivers. Due to her being a former FIA Formula 2 Driver and a Alfa Romeo Racing
F1 Test and Development Driver.
Calderon was partnered with Co-Drivers Sophia Florsch, then a
German 19yr old Teenager contesting her
Rookie season in the FIA Formula 3 championship where she finished 29th
out of 35 Drivers Overall. Along with Netherlands Beitske Visser who
finished runner-up in the 2019 (Women's) W Series at it's controls. With the
trio finishing 13th Overall, and 9th in Class.
For 2021, Calderon, who recently tested an A.J.
foyt Enterprises IndyCar at Mid Ohio following the series race, and favourably
impressed the Foyt team during her 87-laps outing, remains an Alfa Romeo F1
Development and Test Driver. Along with continuing splitting her time between
Super formula and Sports Car racing this year.
Twenty-year old Florsch has switched this year to
Tintops racing by moving to the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) Championship,
driving for ABT Sportsline, aboard an Audi R8 LMS Evo in her Rookie campaign
alongside team-mate Mike Rocky’ rockenfeller.
Following the cancellation of last year’s Women’s
W Series, Visser made her LMP2 Prototypes debut at the 2020 Four Hours of Spa
as Thy Leggy Juan’, aka Katherine Legge’s replacement at Signature Team after
Legge suffered multiple fractures in a testing accident. Beitske remained with
the team for the rest of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) Championship.
Beitske is once again contesting this year’s W
Series and recently made the Headlines at Spa Francorchamps. As perhaps you
heard about the Massive six car Pile-up during their Qualifying session, which
included two of the drivers being sent to Hospital for further evaluation, with
one of them being Visser. As both Drivers were later released, with the Dutchi’ Visser being sore from Back
and leg injuries and Did Not Start (DNS) the season’s fifth of eight races,
further denting her Championship standing.
Visser sat 12th with 18 points vs.
Series leader Alice Powell’s 109 points, with reigning Champion Jamie Chadwick tied
with Powell, albeit Powell held the tie breaker. As they’ll decide the
Championship at the just concluded final two rounds at Circuit Of The Americas as
part of the Formula 1 race’s Support Series.
As it took quite a Bitamyte’ of energy, and time to discern that the
Signature Team was renamed as Richard Mille Racing for the 2020
The Femme Fatale trio is contesting this year’s FIA World Endurance
Championship (WEC) for Richard Mille Racing aboard it’s No. 1 Oreca 07 Gibson
V-8 LMP2 entry.
As it’s Funny how I didn’t put together who Richard
Mille was until learning of McLaren F1 Driver Lando Norris having his timepiece,
a limited edition 1 of 33 Me Thinks? Custom Richard Mille $55k wristwatch in
McLaren’s Papaya Orange and Blue team colours stolen off his wrist at the Euro
But as they say, it All went “Pear Shaped” for
the No. 1 team in the sixth hour when Florsch crashed in the Dark during one of
the multiple Rain Storms that popped up unexpectedly, frequently during the
event. As Sophia went Offtrack and I’m not sure if she either tangled with the
#26 G Drive LMP2 or was taking Avoiding action? Since they were both involved
in the initial incident.
But then it got even Stranger when Florsch was
trying to reverse out of either the Tyre barrier or “Kitty litter” and the #74
Racing Team India EurAsia LMP2 didn’t see her in the Flashing Yellow lights/Flags
and Plowed into her!
As I Don’t recall who said it on the Radio Le
Mans Broadcast, perhaps John Hindhaugh? But I recall whomever saying that the Track
Marshals were knocking on the roof while Sophia was on her Cell phone to tell
her to exit the car, since the collision with the #74 had triggered the In-car
Medical Safety Alert, meaning Florsch needed to go for a mandated Medical
Check-up, with the No. 1 ultimately being retired.
Meanwhile last year’s Gran Torismo entry was the
#85 Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GTE Evo chariot in the
"lower" tier GTE Am (Amateur) category driven by Rahel Frey, Manuela Gostner and Michelle
Gatting. They finished 34th Overall, and 55-laps behind the winner.
An as I’ve mentioned before, Frey's name sounded
vaguely familiar to Mwah, before learning that she was part of an All Swiss le
Femme's Driving trio Wayback in 2010. Aboard one of Matech Competition's Ford GT1's that I've previously
scribbled bout here on No Fenders in a story titled Swiss Misses invade Le
Italy's Gostner cut her teeth in regional
Ferrari Challenge series, as her family’s name is synonymous with Ferrari’s, along
with reportedly being an ex-Professional volleyball player. While Gatting is
another Dane' cutting her teeth in Sports Car racing - wishing to follow in the
Footsteps of Christina Nielsen, a Two-times IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship
GTD (Daytona) Class Champion.
Thanks to Raymond Hando’s For the Love of Indy’s
Le Mans preview, as ‘Ol Hobbo’, nee HobbsCapp’, aka David Hobbs would say that
Boy’s got eyes Sharp as Rats, Hya! I learned that this year’s #85 Iron Links LM
GTE Am Ferrari 488 GTE Evo entry was sporting a new Driver lineup.
Whilst Frey and Gatting remain, Belgian Sarah
boby replaced Gostner as of the previous six Hours of Monza round, where she
made her FIA World Endurance championship debut, an thus Has just made her 24 Heurs du Mans debut this
At one point in her racing career, former Belgian
Formula 1 Driver Thierry Boutsen took her “Under His Wing” to help Sarah
develop as a race car driver as part of his Boutsen-ginion Team, in GT, silhouette
and Touring Cars. This followed Sarah’s Single Seater debut in the Renault 1.6 Belgium
series before transitioning to “Saloons” in an On Again, Off Again Sports car
career due to lack of funding…
Boby was confirmed as one of the inaugural W
Series Reserve Drivers and made three starts in 2019, beginning at her Home
race at Zolder where she failed to start due to technical issues. She claimed
her best finish of 12th at Misano and finished 19th at
the Season Finale at Brands Hatch after a first lap incident.
As No Clue on how Thar race went, other than by my unofficial counting, they finished eighth in Class, listed as 36th Overall, +39 laps to the winning Toyota.