Richard Mille Racing team ready to compete in this year’s race.
By Nelisa Khwela
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 9 of VARSITY News.
2019 was a significant year for women in motorsport as the W Series (an all-female equivalent to Formula 1) was established and the first all-female team since 1991 raced in the Le Mans 24-hour race. This year on the 19th of September another all-female team, Richard Mille Racing, will be competing once again in the male-dominated sport of endurance racing. The Le Mans Race has been dubbed the “Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency” as success in Le Mans requires achieving a balance of speed and endurance as the cars have to complete the 24-hour race, often covering up to 5000km, without mechanical failure.
The Le Mans 24-hour race is held annually in June at the Sarthe Circuit in Le Mans, France and draws about 110 million viewers in 190 countries. However, the race date was shifted this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Richard Mille Racing team will be competing in the LMP2 category which features smaller, independent race teams. The 2020 drivers are Sophia Floersch (Germany), Katherine Legge (England) and Tatiana Calderón (Colombia), who all have notable achievements within the world of motorsport. Floersch was the first-ever female Formula 3 driver at 19 years of age. Calderón is the test driver for the Formula 1 Alfa Romeo team and competed in the 2019 Formula 2 championship alongside male drivers. Legge is the more experienced of the three in endurance motorsport as she has participated in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and is an ex-IndyCar and DTM (German Touring Car Masters) driver.
The Le Mans Race is televised annually on DStv’s Supersport 5 with this year’s race starting at 14:30 on Saturday, 19 September and ending at 14:30 on Sunday, 20 September. Tune in to watch accomplished women breaking barriers and taking up space in endurance motorsport.