Well over 95% of motorsports history has been made by men. This is hardly surprising, given the temperamental nature of the machines, the immense physical demands needed to wrestle a car around a track on six-inch wide bias-ply tires and no downforce (or, in some rectum-dilating cases, lift), and the overall high probability of severe disfigurement or death. Not the most welcoming environment for men or women.
Eventually, though, racing became a tamer, more sanitized sport. Concurrently, attitudes about gender and the role(s) of women changed, paving the way for pioneers like Louise Smith, Pat Moss, Denise McCluggage, Shirley Muldowney, Janet Guthrie and Michele Mouton to shatter the glass ceilings that hovered over motorsports. Today it seems more women than ever are donning helmets and dropping the hammer, however – men being men – we tend to fixate on how they look more than how they drive. (We’re sorry; please direct all anger and venom at Darwin.) What else would compel us to compile the following list?