Audi is bringing an all-women-driven team to the 2018 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, and they’re driving the brand-new Audi R8 LMS GT4, it’s going to be awesome. The four-rings brand has drafted the first ever female overall GT3 Cup Challenge winner, American driver Ashley Freiberg, and Polish driver Gosia Rdest, a veteran of the Audi Sport TT Cup to race at Daytona as the first all-female team ever in the GS class.
While women are unfortunately something of a relative rarity in the upper echelons of motorsport, Audi has never been shy about putting women in its race cars. From the legendary Michèle Mouton to Vanina Ickx, Katherine Legge and Rachel Frey, the amount of female talent behind the wheel of racing Audis through the years has been immense, and both Ashley Freiberg and Gosia Rdest certainly deserve to be mentioned among that pantheon.
The Audi R8 LMS GT4 they’ll be piloting at Daytona, and throughout the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, made its debut this week. It’s a race-only version of the R8 V10 road car aimed squarely at privateer racers. The R8 LMS GT4 is designed to be easily modified for duty in GT3, GT4 and TCR series. Freiberg and Rdest will be competing in the Grand Sport class in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge which will have them running against Porsches, Corvettes, Fords and McLarens.
“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.”
Daytona is a grueling test of endurance for anyone of any gender, in any machine. We wish Ashley and Gosia luck and can’t wait to see how the race shakes out!