History of Women in Car Racing

There are many different sports that can be enjoyed by participants who are either directly involved with the sport itself, or as spectators. While the majority of them make a list for being exciting one sport near the top of the list is car racing.

The Popularity of Car Racing

There are many things that make car racing such a popular sport. One contributing factor is the many different categories of car racing. The popularity of this sport has gone beyond the racing circuit to the point where there are now games available that mimic some of the components of car races.

Females and Car Racing

Car racing is considered to be a dangerous sport, but this is not something that has deterred women from becoming very successful racers. After all, female jockeys have done incredibly well competing against men, why not in car racing? which is a sport that has its own element of danger.

Looking Back at Women Car Racers

The time did come where the male car racers had to accept women racers, but this wasn’t as far back as what some may think. It wasn’t until the 1950s that women took their place behind the wheel in motorsports in the sports car racing category. It began with the SCCA conceding to the desire that some women had to be racers, so there were a few individual races reserved for lady racers. The women were not taken seriously, and to compete which was no more than a few laps they would have depended on a male racer lending them their cars.

In 1953 a small group of ladies formed the Women’s Sports Car Club. However, they were restricted to roles outside of actually driving against the men in competition. It wasn’t until Denise McCluggage became a prominent female racer in 1956 that the women’s role in car racing took a significant change. Her passion was competing against the men rather than being restricted to women only car races.

Another well-known name that took women race car drivers to another level was Donna Mae Mimms. This took place in1963 when she won the SCCA National Driving Championship. By this time, the women’s male counterparts fully realised that women were here to stay on the racing circuit, and they were to be formidable competitors.

The 1970s

Women were now far more comfortable on the racing circuit and were continuing to make a name for themselves. For example, Janet Guthrie was the first woman qualifier for the Indianapolis 500.

The passion for the sport and the persistence of women helped to open the doors for the women of today and those in the future that want equality in the motorsport industry. This is just one of the various examples where women can equal their male counterparts in the world of sports.