27/05/2020

Women in Motor Racing

Motor racing has been a male-dominated industry since it began. Fast cars, danger in every turn and of course, getting filthy in the pit always attracted males to the sector, but women still lurked in the wings waiting for their opportunities. Even though women still make up a minority in motorsport, females in this decade make up a higher proportion than ever before whether driving or as part of a race team.

With the subject matter sparking a lot of controversies and even some anger with the lack of female support, we take a look back at the first women to pioneer into motorsport.

Who were the first women in the automotive sporting world?

Camille du Gast became the first woman to race consistently at international level in 1904. After witnessing the start of the Paris-Lyon road race, the following year she was sat behind the wheel competing in the Paris-Berlin race. She finished around 30th overall in a 20 horsepower Panhard.

Englishwoman Dorothy Levitt was another of the early racers. She began racing in motorboats and by 1903 had progressed to motorised cars. Levitt famously rode an 80 horsepower Napier to almost 80 mph, winning her engine class, the Auto Car Challenge Trophy, and the right to call herself the fastest woman on earth. The following year, she raised the bar to 91 mph. Levitt is also thought to have pioneered the rear-view mirror; however, hers was handheld.

Now, we have seen the likes of Michele Mouton, Eliska Junkova and Danica Patrick prove that women can kick the pedals just like men, isn’t it time more women join the industry? With courses such as Motorsport & Automotive Performance Engineering at the University of Bolton, women are encouraged the same as men to develop their skills and create a future in motorsport.

Is it time for you to turn your passion for motorsports into a career? You can browse all our Motorsport & Automotive Performance Engineering courses here.

myBolton

Download the app for your smartphone from:

Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
RiSE pos rgb logo
TEF Silver QQA

Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
RiSE pos rgb logo
TEF Silver
QQA