Manuela Gostner, Rahel Frey and Michelle Gatting celebrated a historic podium after they finished second in the LMGTE class in the no83 Kessel Racing Ferrari F488 GTE at the end of the 4 Hours of Le Castellet.
This was the first ever podium for an all female crew in the European Le Mans Series and the first in endurance racing since Michele Mouton, Christine Dacremont and Marianne Hoepfner won the two-litre prototype category at the 1975 24 Hours of Le Mans.
It was therefore apt that Michele Mouton, in her capacity as the President of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, was at the Circuit Paul Ricard to witness their success.
We spoke to the drivers on the podium after the race.
Michelle Gatting: “I guess I feel relieved. At the end of the day this is what we hoped and dreamed for. That it has happened is a bit of a surprise for everybody. We always aimed to be on the podium and it happened. It was a wonderful strategy from Kessel Racing, all the work we put in for the pitstops and the driver changes really paid off and the car was fantastic until the last three laps. It was difficult with the puncture I had at the rear but the car was amazing. This is only thanks to the team and to the two girls. Everybody did a great job, this paid off and this is why we ended where we ended.”
Manuela Gostner: “There is nothing really to add, Michelle said it perfectly. This result is because of our great teamwork. This is for everybody who is supporting us and working with us. In the end we have a big result.”
Rahel Frey: “This is amazing because we spoke about getting on the podium, which was the target of the year. But we actually want to build up to it; we didn’t expect it to happen so quickly. I think we are just so happy. This is the best moment to say thank you to the whole crew at Kessel Racing and the FIA Women in Motorsport, because it is brilliant to have Michele Mouton and Cathy Muller here. To perform so well in front of them makes me proud. So thanks very much to everybody”
The next round of the 2019 European Le Mans Series is the 4 Hours of Monza on Sunday 12 May.