Swiss driver Natacha Gachnang joins Formula Two
The 21-year-old is the first woman to join new auto racing circuit Formula Two.GENEVA – Swiss driver Natacha Gachnang has become the first woman to join new auto racing circuit Formula Two.
The 21-year-old Gachnang said Wednesday she has signed up for the circuit because all drivers will begin on an equal footing thanks to a lack of big-money sponsors.
"It's a level playing field," Gachnang told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
"Everyone has the same car. Everyone has one mechanic. Everyone has the same chance."
Formula Two starts 29 May in Valencia, Spain, with six drivers already confirmed. Up to 24 drivers will compete in eight events across Europe, with the finale scheduled for 1 November in Barcelona, Spain.
Gachnang, who has raced in lower circuits, said she would consider moving up to Formula One if her stint in the new championship goes well.
"I think it's possible," she said, adding that some drivers have made the jump to Formula One without going through the GP2 championship, which is considered the normal feeder.
Gachnang's 20-year-old cousin Sebastien Buemi raced in the GP2 last season and is now hoping for a place on Toro Rosso's Formula One team in 2009.
Formula One has often talked of attracting more women fans to the sport by fielding female drivers. Among the top contenders is IndyCar Series driver Danica Patrick.
So far, only a handful of women have taken part in the championship, including Lella Lombardi of Italy, who finished sixth at the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix.
[AP / Expatica]