Danica Patrick landed a place in the record books at the weekend in Japan, after becoming the first ever women to win in any open-wheel racing.
Patrick, a 26 year old American, was competing in her 50th IndyCar race at the Twin Ring Motegi racetrack. She finished 5.8594 seconds ahead of second place Helio Castroneves.
The race was won thanks to top rate tactics by her Andretti Green Racing team and excellent driving by Patrick that saw her conserve the most fuel.
The win came in her fourth season of racing. She shot in to the limelight in 2005 when she finished fourth in the Indy500 and came seventh in the overall standings last season.
Pressure has been mounting on Patrick to get a win, after comparisons were beginning to be made between her and tennis star Anna Kournikova, who like Patrick, has posed for several high profile magazines. Patrick now hopes the win will silence the critics.
“I’m definitely just part of a wave of women that are doing different things, great things, outside of the normal world,” she said. “I don’t think it’s just me. I think it’s just showing we’re capable of anything, and vice versa. There’s so much more gender crossover now than there ever has been. So I really just believe that I’m part of a really big picture.”
Louise Hudson, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine