Iron Dames racing team of Sarah Bovy, Rahel Frey, Michelle Gatting and Doriane Pin made their second appearance at the Daytona 24 Hours a notable one this weekend. For the opening round of the 2024 IMSA SportsCar Championship, they delivered a bright performance with their Lamborghini Hurácan GT3 Evo 2, moving from a 13th starting position to a strong sixth-place finish, making a significant entry in the history of female drivers at Daytona.
Famed for having more hours of darkness than daylight, the Daytona 24 Hours continues to welcome drivers looking to challenge themselves in extreme conditions, in the most avant-garde sportscars. It’s a race that perfectly embodies the teams’ DNA of passion, determination and excellence.
Demonstrating impeccable drive, resilience and strong team spirit, the pink crew spent much of the early part of the race hovering in the mix for the top 10 where the battles were among their most intense. Through the night, the pace from the drivers and Hurácan improved and the team crept up the order as the hours passed by.
As dawn approached, the Dames found themselves off-strategy but slowly moving their way up the order. As the strategies played out, and issues affected a couple of cars late on, the quartet pushed on, working back to the lead lap in the final hour, to finish in sixth as the end of the physically and mentally demanding race came to its conclusion and picking up eight valuable points in the IMSA Endurance Cup. It was a superb result to reward the efforts of the drivers and the team members who faced one of the hardest endurance races head-on.
This remarkable accomplishment stands as the team’s highest finish in an IMSA race to date, signalling a significant stride forward for the team in one of the most competitive motorsports landscapes. It also marks a substantial leap from the team’s 2023 edition, where they secured an 18th place position.
The Iron Dames also enjoyed a warm welcome from the American crowd, further solidifying their presence and popularity on the international racing scene. As the team sets its sights on the next races, starting from the FIA WEC season opener in Qatar, they remain committed to pushing boundaries and achieving new heights in the world of motorsports.
DEBORAH MAYER, IRON DAMES PROJECT FOUNDER
The Iron Dames are leaving Daytona with a solid and very promising performance, Sarah, Rahel, Michelle and Doriane all make me feel proud today. They showed not only strong driving, but also physical and mental strength in a very tough 24-hour race in difficult conditions. I also offer my warmest thanks to the whole team for its hard work and dedication. That is what Iron Dames project is about – always improving, never giving up and striving for excellence. I’m also delighted to see the growing enthusiasm of the American public for the Iron Dames project, particularly among young girls, which proves that our mission of inspiring them to believe in their dreams has meaning and resonance. I can’t wait for the rest of the season, which promises to be a challenging and thrilling one for the Iron Dames.
The 24 Hours of Daytona is done with our best IMSA finish so far and we came home as the top Lamborghini which makes me very proud being part of the pink Iron Dames #83 car. Our crew did very well, strong strategy, strong mechanics without any mistakes. To start the season on a high is important as it gives us extra motivation for the upcoming races. Compared to last year, we made a very big step forward. Let us keep working hard to do even better next time.
Sixth at Daytona is a very good way to start the season and definitely a huge improvement from last year. Thanks to our mechanics, our engineers, our strategy guys, our spotters without whom that result would not have been possible. Besides that, we showed that the Lamborghini has potential to be at the top. The podium was only few steps away. I am pretty confident for the future and hopefully our first IMSA podium is just around the corner.
We ended P6 today, I think it is a great result to start the season with. When we compared this to where we were last year, we did a very consistent and very solid race with no mistakes. The competition was very strong in the GTD class with 23 cars and we finished on the leader’s lap and not too far off the podium. It is very encouraging for the future and I looking forward to coming back even stronger.
I am very happy about the race today – P6 in the 24 Hours of Daytona is a great achievement for all of us – we were strong, with no mistakes, and finished on the lap of the leader. We learned a lot as a team and I cannot wait to continue work hard and achieve even more results with the Iron Dames in the future.