24h Le Mans
23/11/2019 - 18:01

Rahel Frey (Kessel Racing): "We're going to be even better"

Swiss driver Rahel Frey (33 years old) took the start in this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans with Kessel Racing and two other female drivers, Manuela Gostner and Michelle Gatting. Here she describes the experience ahead of returning to Le Mans in 2020 to achieve an even better result.
Rahel Frey (Kessel Racing): "We're going to be even better"

You and teammates Manuela Gostner and Michelle Gatting finished 39th overall and ninth in the LMGTE Am class at the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 1977 running was the last time an all-female driver line-up made it to the chequered flag at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. You must be thrilled.

"The fact we made it to the finish line is not only our doing, it's the result of the team's efforts. We did a lot of laps ahead of the race and indeed we were very well prepared. At the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans, I shared the wheel of a Ford GT fielded by Matech Competition with two other female drivers, Natcha Gachnang and Cyndie Allemann. Unfortunately, we were forced to retire because the car was new and lacked reliability."

Tell us about the mood within the team after the finish.

"To make it to the end of a 24-hour race is always special and we were relieved. Michelle did the last stint. Manuela couldn't help but cry. Every member of the team was so proud."

"The goal is to compete once again in the European Le Mans Series in 2020 as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans."
Rahel Frey, Kessel Racing

Do you, Manuela and Michelle feel like a united front?

"Of course. During a 24-hour race, every driver goes through a period when they don't feel so great. If you and your teammate are close, you can ask him or her to take your stint. Reciprocity and solidarity are very important elements of endurance racing."

Were you also defying stereotypes?

"Absolutely. We fought hard on the track against the other competitors in our class. We made zero mistakes. We incurred no penalties. I was surprised at our level and our speed. The competition in the LMGTE Am class was fierce. It was a wonderful experience. If we get to do it again, we're going to be even better."

What's the next step in your project?

"The Iron Dames project is alive and well. We are looking to participate in the 12 Hours of Abu Dhabi on 4 December. The goal is to compete once again in the European Le Mans Series in 2020 as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans. We'll see if we are granted an invitation."

If you do the 24 Hours of Le Mans again, will you be looking for an even better result?

"That's the hope. We always want to get better. The team has a lot more experience now and it has really supported us. Now, we need to push harder on the track."


PHOTO: Rahel Frey at the screening of the official 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans at the CGR theatre in Saint-Saturnin.