Ellen Lohr: I was the first woman to win Formula Ford, the first to achieve a top place in Formula Three, and the first to win a DTM race. And I was one of the first women to compete in truck racing. But at the same time, the rally raid driver Jutta Kleinschmidt was the first woman to win the Dakar. It was part of our normal motorsports experience to be the only woman. So, it was nothing special for us in that respect, although it was for the new opponents we had.
Of course, I did occasionally come across team managers who held grudges against me, who would tell off their drivers because they’d let me overtake them. And no matter how successful I was – instead of being encouraged, I was always told I wasn’t good enough to take the next step. Eventually the time had come when I had proved myself often enough to be taken seriously. But until then, I had to learn to fight back when duelling on the race track if I was tackled too harshly. Whenever I retaliated, I had it easier in the next race. But I think it’s different today. For many young men, it no longer makes a difference if they compete against a man or woman.
Sophia Flörsch: I can say the same. As a racing driver, you always have to stand your ground – regardless of whether you’re a man or woman. The guys have to assert themselves as well. The atmosphere becomes easier and more professional, the higher the class you drive in. This might have something to do with the fact that equality has become so important, in sports as well as in normal professional fields. Personally, it was in carting where I tended to hear dumb remarks as a girl.