Top 10 Most Influential Women in Motorsports: Women’s Day Special

The world of motorsports, once a male-dominated domain, is experiencing a thrilling shift. Talented women are leaving their mark on every discipline, from the high-speed Formula racing to the gruelling endurance tests of rallies such as the Dakar.  

These pioneering women are not only achieving incredible feats on the track but also advocating for inclusivity and inspiring future generations. On this Women’s Day, we are listing the top 10 best most influential women in motorsports.

Danica Patrick

  • Racing Series: Indy Car & NASCAR

Danica Patrick transcended the world of motorsports to become a pop culture icon. The most successful woman in NASCAR history, she shattered records left and right. Her resume boasts seven top-10 finishes, a coveted pole position, and a place in history as the only woman to lead laps and secure a top-five finish in the legendary Indianapolis 500.


  • First woman to win an IndyCar Series race (Indy Japan 300, 2008)
  • First woman to win a NASCAR Cup Series pole position (Daytona 500, 2013)

Michele Mouton

  • Racing Series: World Rally Championship

Rallying legend Michèle Mouton is a true pioneer. Not only was she the first woman to win a World Rally Championship event, but she also dominated the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, securing four victories. Mouton’s sheer talent and tenacity on the track earned the respect of her male counterparts and paved the way for future women in motorsports.


  • Four World Rally Championship wins
  • Second-place finish in the 1982 WRC driver’s championship

Jutta Kleinschmidt

  • Racing Series: Dakar Rally
women in motorsports

The Dakar Rally, a notoriously brutal off-road endurance race, is no easy feat. Yet, Jutta Kleinschmidt conquered it in 2001, becoming the only woman to win the car category. Her triumph alongside co-driver Andreas Schulz cemented her place in Dakar history and continues to inspire women in off-road racing disciplines.


  • Only woman driver ever to win the Dakar Rally (2001)
  • Jutta competed in the Dakar Rally on both motorcycles and cars

Laia Sanz

  • Racing Series: Trails

Motorcycle trials rider Laia Sanz is a force to be reckoned with. She has dominated the Women’s Trial World Championship, securing a staggering 14 titles. Sanz’s talent isn’t limited to trials, however. She’s also a Dakar Rally competitor, showcasing her versatility and resilience in the demanding world of motorsports. An inspiring legend in the world of women in motorsports.


  • 14 Women’s Trial World Championships
  • 10 Women’s Trial European Championships
  • 11 times Dakar Rally Finisher

Jamie Chadwick 

  • Racing Series: Formula W Series
women in motorsports

W Series Champion and Future Star:  The W Series, an all-female open-wheel racing championship, is a breeding ground for future Formula One stars.  Reigning W Series Champion Jamie Chadwick is a shining example.  Her success in the series is not just a personal victory, but a testament to the immense talent and potential of female racers.  Chadwick’s achievements are paving the way for future women in motorsports to compete at the highest levels of racing.


  • Triple W Series Champion (2019, 2021, 2022)
  • First woman in 13 years to compete in a full Indy NXT
  • Current Development Driver for Williams Racing
  • Competed in Race of Champions and Extreme E

Tatiana Calderon 

  • Racing Series: Formula One Series

On the Road to Formula One:  Tatiana Calderon, a development driver for Alfa Romeo Racing, is another rising star with her sights set on Formula One.  She has competed fiercely in Formula 2 and continues to push for that coveted seat in Formula One.  Calderon’s dedication and skill are a testament to the growing pool of female talent ready to take on the pinnacle of motorsport.


  • First woman to win a national karting championship
  • First female Latin American driver to test an F1 car
  • Raced in GP3, Formula 2, and FIA Formula 3
  • Raced in the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans

Amna Al Qubaisi  

  • Racing Series: Formula Series
women in motorsports

Amna Al Qubaisi is a rising star from the United Arab Emirates. As the first Emirati woman to compete in the 24 Hours of Dubai, she’s an inspiration to young women in the Middle East. Al Qubaisi’s achievements are not only personal triumphs but pave the way for a more inclusive future for women in motorsports within the region.


  • First Emirati Woman in Motorsports
  • Racing in F1 Academy for the MP Motorsport team
  • First Middle Eastern woman to participate in a Formula E test program
  • She is part of the Red Bull Academy Programme

Hamda Al Qubaisi 

  • Racing Series: Formula Series

Following in Her Sister Amna’s Tracks, motorsports is a family affair for the Al Qubaisi sisters. Hamda Al Qubaisi is another Emirati racer making waves. The sibling duo’s success is fostering a more inclusive environment for women in motorsports within the region, proving that talent transcends gender.


  • First Emirati Woman on F4 Podium
  • Four race wins in the 2023 F1 Academy season
  • She is part of the Red Bull Academy Programme along with her sister

Susie Wolff

  • Racing Series: Formula One
women in motorsports

Susie Wolff isn’t just a former Formula One development driver, she’s a champion for women in motorsports on all fronts.  While her on-track achievements were impressive, her true impact lies in her tireless advocacy. Wolff co-founded Dare to Shine, a program that empowers young girls through the world of motorsports, creating a crucial pipeline for future generations.


  • Four times British Woman Kart Racing Driver of the Year
  • Formula One Development Driver
  • Formula One test session participation
  • Formula 1 Analyst for Channel Four Television

Abbie Eaton 

  • Racing Series: Formula One

Abbie Eaton is a British racing driver with over 20 years of experience. She’s a two-time British Champion and has competed in everything from go-karts to Formula 3. Abbie’s not just a racer though; she’s a qualified racing instructor and performance driving coach, sharing her passion with others. Currently, Abbie co-founded Rebellion Motorsport, aiming to create more opportunities within the racing world.


  • Two-Time British Champion
  • 20 Years of Track Experience
  • Test Driver for “The Grand Tour” Series
  • Qualified Racing Instructor

Honorary Mentions

Sabine Schmitz

women in motorsports

Sabine Schmitz, the “Queen of the Nürburgring,” was a German racing driver and television star. She dominated the legendary 24 Hours of Nürburgring race twice, becoming the first woman to win overall. Her mastery of the Nürburgring, a notoriously challenging track, was unmatched, and she even held the record for the fastest lap time by a production car driven by a woman. Schmitz’s infectious love for cars and her appearances on Top Gear captivated audiences worldwide.

Claire Williams

women in motorsports

Claire Williams, born Claire Victoria Williams OBE in 1976, is a British former motorsport executive who made significant contributions to the Formula One team founded by her father, Sir Frank Williams. She served as Deputy Team Principal of the Williams Racing team from 2013 to 2020, one of only two women to ever manage teams in Formula One during the modern era.

With the ever-growing community of women in motorsports, this list will only get longer with more names and achievements being added to the community.

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