The eyes are moving quickly from the mirrors to the track…looks like any other determined hot shot except these eyes may be fringed with a little mascara.
The foot is nimble, heavy on the throttle, heel-and-toe into the turns—and in a few hours, she will probably slip into stilettos.
The FIA Lotus Ladies Cup is part of the Hungarian Touring Car Championship series, and is back now in 2013 for its third year.
The FIA LOTUS LADIES CUP European Championship was approved in July 2013 as the first ever championship solely for ladies under FIA. A new era has just started in women’s motorsport!
Lotus gathered a team of beautiful lady drivers to promote the Lotus name and pit their women against the best drivers in the world.
The women drive Lotus Elises. These rear-wheel-drive British-made cars are uncommonly well-suited for females and for the track. They weigh less than 2,000 lbs. but have a 4-cylinder 1600 cc engine in a mid-engine configuration that cranks out 190 horses and loves the high-revs. The 6-speed manual transmission delivers short, precise shifting and the telepathic handling puts the car exactly where the driver wants it. It is a very stripped-down pure sports car that’s nimble, fast and fun.
Adrienn Bende, who represented Hungary in 2006 Miss Universe pageant, is also Managing Director for the Lotus Ladies cup series. The Lotus Ladies Cup is a championship exclusively for women. Drivers are grouped into teams which then competing head to head, driving Lotus Elise’s tuned to FIA standards.
The teams are made up of women with and without any previous racing experience: some are Radio and TV personalities, some are professionals, some are moms, and some are actresses, fashion models or beauty contestants. Some are enlisted to run the series, others were invited.
Lotus Cup is open to everyone and each participant receives intensive driver training under the tutelage of experienced racing instructors, earning their competition license.
This begs the question: can fast women be sexy and do we associate driving skills with masculinity? Is it because we associate aggressive driving with male energy?
Everone knows about the successes of women drivers a la Danica Patrick professionally, and the amateurs like Amy Macdonald (In February 2013 Amy appeared on the BBC Top Gear Star in a Reasonably Priced Car section, driving a Kia Cee’d to a time of 1:44.4, the fastest lap time recorded for a female star at that time, just .2 of a second slower than Tom Cruise).
But is everyone comfortable with women in the driver’s seat?
Here are some random quotes I gathered from random encounters in no particular order:
- “It kinda shrivels me a bit if a hot chick drives faster than me…but I still wanna catch up to her”
- “You know how women are told not to be too smart? Cuz it turns off the boys? Same thing with cars.”
- “Little do they know, we want them to drive faster, so we can see them from behind!”
- “I like to watch her work the stick…”
- “Are fast women bad women? Or are they just getting where they want to go?”
Lotus has created a way to boost their image with a racing team that makes Lotus sexy, fast, and doesn’t dilute their brand. The cars (and the Lotus Ladies) are already sex on wheels: curvaceous, suggestive and lean.
The whole idea is unapologetically retro…mix attractive women with fast cars, and presto, instant audience…These women are helping dispel the notion that racing is strictly for men.
Lotus Ladies trailer: CLICK HERE
See you at the track,
Director Public Affairs Chicago Treasurer’s Office