Audi Bringing Female Drivers to Daytona
One of the professional sports women seem to have the most difficulties breaking into is car racing. There have been a few prolific women racers throughout the years, but they have been outside the norm in many professional championships and leagues. Formula One even regularly debates whether women are even physically capable of controlling one of its vehicles. This week at Daytona, the first Grand Sport-class all-female driver team will compete with the blessing and support of Audi.
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Ashley Freiberg of the USA and Gosia Rdest of Poland will hit the track in the all-new Audi R8 LMS GT4 on a team funded by GMG Racing, Daren Jorgensen and the Audi Tire Center. The new Audi racecar and its pioneering team join a field of 27 cars at the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. Both women have more than earned their spots in the cabin. According to Audi, Freiberg was the first woman to be victorious in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge at Daytona. Rdest has TCR and GT4 racing experience and competed from 2015-2017 in the Audi Sport TT Cup.
“Women are few and far between in motorsports, so the opportunity to join an all-women team with Audi is really exciting. My gender doesn’t make a difference when I’m behind the wheel. I still have to do a good job, and drive the car hard; the data and lap times don’t lie,” said Ashley Freiberg. “I think we’ll be a strong team, not because we’re female, but because we’re drivers that are ready to do the job well.”
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It’s not surprising that Audi is the first to assemble an all-female team for this racing series, as the automaker has produced commercials in the past advocating for gender equality. If you want to tune into the 4-hour Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race yourself, it starts tomorrow, January 26, at 1pm.