Motorsport is one of the increasingly few sporting activities where women are hugely under-represented when it comes to the list of competitors. But looking behind the scenes, there are countless women actively involved in motorsports globally. They organise events, are active in race control, as team managers, mechanics, engineers, in marshalling and fulfilling a host of other important roles. The same is true for the Blancpain GT Series. In the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup alone, there are six women who inspire others. Meet the team managers of the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup:
Astrid Lang, Team Manager Rinaldi Racing
Education: Master in Information Science
Hobbies: I work in motorsports, I don’t have time for any hobbies :)
Claim to fame: Multilingual all-rounder
Favourite quote: Look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man, work like a boss.
What inspired you to work in motorsports?
“At the age of 14, my dad took me to my first motorsports event, and I was totally thrilled. Not only the race action, but I was impressed by all the organisation also. I decided to focus on motorsports – especially the organisation part. I did a few internships during my studies and then in 2012 took my first job in a racing team. I cannot imagine working anywhere else.”
Briefly describe your role and your tasks during a race weekend?
“The main role is the team manager part: to be sure that everybody (team & drivers) is arriving at the circuit and that everybody has his hotel room. Then do all the paper work and take the drivers to their administrative checks. During the sessions, I focus on the race action on track, hoping not to be called by the race control J. During a race weekend, I also cook for the team and make sure that drivers and teams are not missing anything. Also, I take care of the guests. Besides, I am taking care of our social media channels. To summarize: I do everything except working on the racing car.”
What was the biggest challenge you ever faced?
“To organise three race events in one weekend. That was quite a challenge. To be sure that everybody is at the right place and not to have forgotten anything. Also, if there is a race weekend like the Total 24 Hours of Spa – the crew is much bigger than on a normal event; you have more drivers and more guests. I have more people to care about. Not to neglect anybody, is really important.”
What was your most memorable moment?
“I think, it was the 24H Nürburgring of this year. We started with the only Ferrari 488 GT3 and in the Pro-Am class as private team. We knew it would be hard work to follow the factory teams. We had an amazing qualifying and at the end of the race, we reached P7 overall. This was a memorable moment for drivers and team.”
Are there enough women working in motorsports?
“Probably not. Especially as mechanics. I think there is just one woman working in this domain. Mainly, you find them in the organisation and hospitality.”
Female racing drivers who left a mark in the motorsports world just to name a few: Michelle Mouton, Jutta Kleinschmidt, Pat Moss, Janet Guthrie, Maria Costello, Denise McCluggage, Lyn St. James, Sabine Schmitz, Susie Wolff.
Which one is your favourite?
“I do not really have a favourite, but Michelle Mouton is definitely a woman I admire.”