The European Le Mans Series will have an all-female team, when the 2019 season starts in two months’ time.
The winners of the Michelin Le Mans Cup in the GT category in 2018, Kessel Racing, will enter a Ferrari 488 GTE with Dane Michelle Gatting, Swiss Rahel Frey, and Italian Manuela Gostner behind the wheel.
There have been several female drivers in the ELMS over the years with Ines Taittinger and Christina Nielsen being amongst them, but this is the first time with an all-female team.
The three already worked together at the Gulf 12 Hours in December 2018, where they raced a GT3 Ferrari. They finished second in the Pro-Am category.
The team will be supported by the FIA Women in Motorsport programme, and has Deborah Meyer as one of the mayor economical supporters.
The victory in the Michelin Le Mans Cup also gives the team a Le Mans entry. They need to participate in either the ELMS, Asian Le Mans Series or FIA World Endurance Championship in the current season, for that ticket to stay valid. So the team has opted to enter the ELMS. However, it’s not yet confirmed if the three female drivers will be in the car for the 24 Hours of Le Mans too, or if the seats will be taken up by another driver combination.
Kessel Racing is one of the traditional Ferrari teams in GT racing. They have been active at Le Mans before, where they have supplied cars and mechanics to several team, with Scuderia Corsa being one of them. Kessel Racing and AF Corse are some of the closest allies with the Ferrari brand in sportscars.
As far as we know, there is a big demand in the ELMS again for 2019, and to be official entered, you need to be selected to participate. With Kessel Racing winning the Michelin Le Mans Cup in 2018, they have proved that they worthy of moving up to the GTE category in the main series.
The European Le Mans Series starts on 14 April at Paul Ricard, located between Marseilles and Nice.