European Le Mans Series – IRON DAMES ENDURE BITTERSWEET WEEKEND IN ELMS SEASON OPENER


In the aftermath of the 2024 ELMS season opener, the Iron Dames have emerged with a blend of highs and lows at the 4 Hours of Barcelona. While luck may have eluded them in clinching victory, the weekend was marked by commendable achievements and a strong foundation for the journey ahead.
After storming the Magenta Porsche 911 GT3 R #85 to pole in Saturday’s qualifying session, Sarah seized the initiative at the start of the four-hour race and took to the lead in the early stages comfortably ahead of the #63 Iron Lynx entry.

She had to make a decisive move on the #57 Kessel Racing, which hadn’t pitted and was therefore in the lead, on a Safety Car restart during her stint. She got by to take to the front again and with the #57 on ageing tyres holding the pack behind, she was able to open a comfortable gap before handing over to Rahel after her double stint.

Rahel was measured during her time on the track to also complete an hour and a half of racing. She was able to comfortably control the gap to the cars behind before handing over to Michelle for the final part of the race with a very healthy lead.

However, Michelle came to a halt at the pit exit with a technical issue just after getting in the car, which disappointingly brought the Iron Dames’ day to a premature end after a heroic effort to control the race from the front.
Also in action was the Michelin Le Mans Cup with Célia Martin and Karen Gaillard making their debut in the magenta Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2.

Célia was running solidly in her stint in the 1h50m race before a spin dropped her down the order. The team tried to go for a different strategy but was unlucky with the timing of the Safety Car. This limited the #83 to seventh, but the pair valiantly pushed on to the end to secure the valuable points to begin their campaign.

DEBORAH MAYER, IRON DAMES PROJECT FOUNDER
Despite the unfortunate turn of events, Sarah, Rahel and Michelle showed great control in their dominant drive. Célia and Karen started the Michelin Le Mans Cup in a very determined and encouraging way, giving them invaluable experience. Seeing this family of drivers grow up with a shared passion, determination and team spirit warms my heart and I can’t wait to see them all race again in Paul Ricard!

SARAH BOVY
It is really tough to not finish the race today and to not pick up any points because I think everybody did the job in the car and outside of the car. I want to thank everybody for the hard work and what we saw today is very promising for the rest of the season.

RAHEL FREY
We can all be very proud of our performance on track, it was faultless and it was fast. We made very good steps; the car was in brilliant shape. We win together, we lose together, and we will definitely come back stronger at Le Castellet for the next round.

MICHELLE GATTING
It is a very unfortunate way to finish this race. Sarah and Rahel both did amazing. A lot of lost points for the championship but the potential is here. There are still many rounds to go and we have a lot of positives to take.