The Iron Dames racing squad made history recently when they were the first all-female team to ever win the 24 Hours of Spa. Now the GT class favourites, we speak to one of the dames, racer Rahel Frey, who shares what it felt like to accomplish such an achievement and how the Iron Dames is on a mission to make motorsport more diverse.
Rahel, first of all, what is Iron Dames?
Our mission is to encourage and create opportunities for female racers, mechanics and engineers in motorsport. Deborah Mayer is the leading dame and there are currently 25 dames in the team. Our aim is to become a role model for women driven by dreams and those willing to work hard to achieve them.
What was the feeling of the team before going into the 24 Hours of Spa?
The team was the most nervous for this race as there are so many things that can go wrong in such a long race. But we were hoping for a clean race without incidents and setbacks.
What were some of the challenges you faced during the weekend, and how were you able to overcome them?
Traffic management was a big challenge with a 65-car grid as it was really tough to find a free spot on the track for qualifying and having to deal with slower cars. Communication is also always challenging around Spa as the radio is not always clear and you always need to keep in touch with the pit wall to ensure smooth execution of strategy. The track itself is very challenging, too, and especially driving around for hours on end, it requires the highest levels of concentration to maintain pace and not make mistakes.
What does it mean for you to win the 24 Hours of Spa?
It is pure happiness. The entire team was so relieved and emotional having created history and won at one of the most challenging endurance races of the year. Going into the race, the belief was there but there were so many uncertainties so to make it actually happen is a major step toward the mission of Iron Dames. It is also great motivation for everyone in the team to keep pushing and going for more victories.
What Motul products were used during the race?
We used quite a few: Motul 300V engine oil, gearbox oil and power steering fluid.
What does it mean to the Iron Dames to have a brand like Motul backing you on this journey?
Iron Dames values long-term partnerships and to have the support of Motul is incredible for the team and its racing pursuits. The 24 Hours of Spa is not somewhere you can take risks and the team was extremely satisfied with the reliability and performance of the Motul products to bring the car home after a challenging race.
What is your message to young women?
Keep chasing your dream and giving it your all to prove yourself. The Iron Dames race in pink suits in a pink car to clearly bring home the message of women competing on an equal level with men.