24 Hours of Le Mans – Sarah Bovy (Iron Dames): “We are driven by the same passion”
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24 Hours of Le Mans – Sarah Bovy (Iron Dames): “We are driven by the same passion”

This season, Sarah Bovy and the Iron Dames have made endurance history with a win in the European Le Mans Series and two pole positions in the FIA World Endurance Championship. We spoke to the Belgian recently about this extraordinary campaign and the Iron Dames project.

A few weeks ago, your team made endurance history by winning the LMGTE class at the 4 Hours of Portimão. Has your achievement sunk in yet?

Sarah Bovy: We worked hard to earn this victory and actually thought we’d do it earlier in the season. The level in the European Le Mans Series was very high this year. More than anything, it was a feeling of relief to finally get the win. We won in style too as it was a great race. It will always provide wonderful memories.

What does this success prove?

SB: It shows that an all-female line-up is capable of winning at any level of motorsport. However, we must continue working hard and not rest on our laurels. This win does not mean that our project has run its course. Quite the contrary. It’s a superb stepping stone to even greater things.

What emotions did you go through during the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year?

SB: I’ve always dreamed of competing in this race. For years, I thought I’d never be able to take part as it’s the pinnacle of motor racing and it’s not easy to make it. So getting to Le Mans was already a triumph for me and I tried to make the most of it. I’m known for being very laid back on the grid and I try to lighten the mood for my teammates who are sometimes a little more tense than me. It wasn’t an easy race for us this year as we began with a puncture on lap 2. It gave me an opportunity to experience something new as we made a dramatic fightback up to P7 in our class. We really gave our all.

The Iron Dames project looks to inspire women to pursue their dreams and get a foot on the motorsport ladder. How do you view it?

SB: Iron Dames is a great team promoting a wonderful initiative. However, as I always say, not a single Iron Dames driver started racing with the aim of being an ambassador for women in motorsport. We do it because we love racing. Like all drivers, we started out in karting. We wanted to be faster than the one in front and win races. We are driven by the same passion. It’s true that we are part of a bigger picture which conveys ideas that go further than us. We receive a lot of support. Thanks to everyone for that as it helps when times are tough.

What are your plans for 2023?

SB: For Iron Dames, the programmes announced so far are the GT World Challenge and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. On a personal level, I don’t yet know what my own programme will be. I don’t yet know which line-up I’ll be in but, so far, I’ve left it up to them and it’s worked out fine. Iron Lynx and Iron Dames do all they can to get cars on the grid at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and in the FIA WEC so I’m keeping my fingers crossed! I'd hate to miss the Centenary race!

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