Kessel Racing F488 GTE has announced an all-female line-up featuring Rahel Frey, Manuela Gostner and Michelle Gatting for 2019 European Le Mans Series (ELMS) season.
Having raced for Kessel Racing in the Gulf 12 Hours where they finished sixth overall and second in GT3 Pro/Am podium at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, the team has decided to stick with the same trio for a full season in ELMS in 2019.
Frey, Gostner and Gatting will continue to drive the Swiss outfit’s #83 Ferrari 488 GTE car in the LMGTE category with its sister #60 car to be driven by Claudio Schiavoni – the remaining two members are yet to be confirmed.
For now, they have to tackle the six rounds in the ELMS calendar starting with Paul Ricard (April 14), followed by races in Monza (May 12), Barcelona (July 21), Silverstone (August 31), Spa-Francorchamps (September 22) and Portimao (October 27).
There is also a chance for them to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours race in June with the ACO yet to announce the remaining 18 teams for the grand event after the initial 42 names were revealed earlier in the month.
Michele Mouton, President of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission said: “After a great first outing together at the Gulf 12 Hour race in Abu Dhabi last year, Manuela, Rahel and Michelle have been given a well-deserved opportunity to compete in the full ELMS season.
“Being given that chance by Kessel Racing, which fields top-class racing cars, really goes to show that female racers are more than capable of fighting at the front when they are given the right opportunities. A really big thank you to Kessel Racing, to the ELMS and the ACO for their support. Naturally we will be following their results with great interest.”
Gerard Neveu, CEO ELMS, added: “We are really proud to welcome Manuela, Rahel and Michelle to the ELMS paddock and with the FIA and the ACO we will support them in their ambition to compete at the very top of endurance racing, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“The ELMS has always been supportive of women taking part in our sport, whether as a team manager, engineer, mechanic or as driver. We hope that this 100% female line-up will become a source of inspiration for the next generation of competitors.”