the pilot who reached the top of American competitions


Nothing destined Danica Patrick to join the world of motor racing. She discovered leisure karting by chance, at the age of ten.

It was her parents who allegedly took her to a circuit on a Sunday when they had had to cancel a boat trip and were looking for another activity to do with the family.

But the young Danica takes a liking to karting. She continues to practice and begins to participate in local competitions. At 16, she already knows that she wants to do more than a hobby. She will do anything to become a professional pilot.

A young uprooted pilot

Becoming a pilot is never an easy task. It is certainly even more difficult for a young woman.

Because the best opportunities are in Europe, Danica has to leave her family and cross the Atlantic. She joined the Formula Vauxhall championship, then ran a second season in Formula Ford.

The beginnings are difficult, and Danica seems close to giving up the adventure.

This is where the first jump comes: Danica takes an unexpected second place at the Brands Hatch circuit. With dry finances but renewed motivation, the young American returns home.

Perseverance pays off

In the United States, his first season in Formula Atlantic is hardly more convincing. But Danica has other assets: she is the only female driver on the field, masters the art of communication and, moreover, has a pleasant physique.

It mobilizes all these assets, even if it means sometimes playing the mannequins. It ends up paying off, and she starts to make herself known.

A famous retired driver feels his potential and offers him to race in Indycar, the premier class of American motorsport. Danica sees the doors of the equivalent of Formula 1 in the United States open before them.

The consecration

In this championship, Danica will be able to realize her dream: to compete with men in the most prestigious American car race, the Indianapolis 500.

In 2005, she surprised a cheering crowd by leading the race for 19 laps and finishing fourth on her first participation.

Three years later, Danica made history again by becoming the first woman to win a race from Indycar to Motegi. This time his career is in orbit.

The one that everyone laughed at became one of the highest paid sportswomen in the world, with no less than fifteen million dollars in annual income.

From Indycar to Nascar

As if to prove definitively that no discipline was reserved for men, Danica then won a wheel in Nascar. These typically American races, run on ovals, are the archetype of a southern America and willingly macho.

She then took pole position in the Daytona 500, again becoming the only woman to achieve this feat.

A feat achieved at a speed of 196.434 miles per hour, or … 316.1 km / h! Who says women can’t be pilots?


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