Introducing the Record-Setting Nine Women Racing the 2024 Rolex 24

By Tony DiZinno

IMSA Wire Service

The evolution of Katherine Legge’s career and the impact her consistent presence has had on sports car racing can be measured in Rolex 24 At Daytona starts between her and the eight fellow female competitors set to compete at this week’s 2024 edition.

Legge has 11 Rolex 24 starts dating to her 2007 debut, while the other eight female drivers have eight combined starts.

What’s great about that stat, though, is that most of those “new” eight are back and seeking to build on their debuts for either their second or third appearance in the last several years.

“I think it’s special,” Legge said after setting the fastest GT Daytona (GTD) time on Friday during Roar Before the Rolex 24 testing at Daytona International Speedway. It’s been a positive change. My first Daytona was 2007, and I was the only woman in the field,”

“I’ve been trying to get more women involved; we did the Caterpillar car with Christina (Nielsen), Ana (Bia Figueiredo) and Simona (de Silvestro), then bringing Rahel (Frey) over and giving her the bug for American racing, which ended up with the Iron Dames coming over.

“It has been really neat to see the snowball effect and the fact that it’s not different anymore, it’s not a gimmick, it’s just some of the best drivers for the job and we get it done.”

So, who are the record-setting nine female drivers set to compete in this year’s Rolex 24? And might any be able to capture the first class win for a female in the Rolex 24 since Claudia Hurtgen won her class in 1997?

Katherine Legge/Sheena Monk/Tatiana Calderon

No. 66 Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22, starts third in GTD

Legge: 12th start, best finish 2nd in 2018, debuted in 2007
Monk: 2nd start, best finish 4th in 2023, debuted in 2023
Calderon: 2nd start, best finish 16th in 2020, debuted in 2020

As noted above, Legge’s become an ever-present fixture at the Rolex, and the Atlanta-area based Englishwoman’s versatility and persistence have shone through over the years. She debuted in a Daytona Prototype, ran the radical DeltaWing for a few years and has been a fixture in GTD since 2017 in Acura, Porsche or Lamborghini cars. Her best result of second in 2018 is the closest she, or any woman, has come to a class win at Daytona in that 27-year run since Hurtgen. (Photo: Gradient Racing)

Pennsylvania native Monk is set for her second Rolex 24, and she combined with Legge to finish fourth on debut here last year in what was the best run of the season for the green-and-white Acura. As her comfort level and confidence grew during her first full season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, so too did her consistency as she seeks a sophomore season leap.

Calderon is a Colombian whose career has taken her to various sports car and open-wheel series worldwide, but rarely for a full season. She’s well-positioned for 2024 as this car’s third driver for the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup races. She’s reunited with Legge, with whom she co-drove in her Rolex 24 debut in 2020 in a Lamborghini and in an all-female lineup (two-time IMSA GTD champion Nielsen and Frey completed the set).

Rahel Frey/Sarah Bovy/Doriane Pin/Michelle Gatting

No. 83 Iron Dames Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2, Starts 13th in GTD

Swiss driver Frey is the only one of this quartet making her third start at the Rolex 24, rather than their second. But she’s been a successful GT driver worldwide for roughly a decade, most frequently with Audi and most recently with Porsche as part of the Iron Dames’ effort in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2023. Together with Bovy and Gatting, the trio scored a popular and historic win to sign off the GTE specification era of international sports car racing with a GTE Am class win at last year’s WEC season finale in Bahrain and this same quartet won their class in the 2022 24 Hours of Spa.

Belgian driver Bovy is Bronze-rated and emerged as Ben Keating’s most frequent rival for pole positions in WEC in 2023. She secured three of them, which revealed her pace on a worldwide stage. She’s in her fourth year with the Iron Dames program and her career has taken off since joining this squad.

Frenchwoman Pin only turned 20 this month, so the youngest of the Iron Dames should be one to watch for a while. She starred in Ferrari Challenge Europe in 2022, winning that title, and joined the Iron Dames’ IMSA races in 2023. She’s quickly gaining experience in vehicles with downforce, both LMP2 prototypes and junior open-wheel cars, and was recently signed to Mercedes’ junior driver program.

Danish driver Gatting scored a Ferrari Challenge Europe title in 2021, a year before Pin did. She’s had a steady and successful sports car career for roughly a decade, with the aforementioned Spa and Bahrain class wins her most notable achievements. (Photo: Lamborghini)

Ashton Harrison

No. 45 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2, starts fourth in GTD

Georgia’s Harrison is one of two American women in the field, along with Monk. They’ve had similar starts to their careers in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo ranks, with Harrison scoring several class wins along the way. She made her Rolex 24 debut in 2023 and had a hard-luck sixth-place finish, with her Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 falling out of podium contention within the final hours. This is her only scheduled race start of 2024.

Lilou Wadoux

No. 88 Richard Mille AF Corse ORECA 07, starts 10th in LMP2

French driver Wadoux is both the only rookie female driver in this year’s Rolex 24 and the only female driver competing outside GTD. She’s gained extensive experience in both prototypes and GT spec cars the last few years and has a notable achievement of a WEC GTE Am class win at Spa in 2023. (Photo: FIA)

Watch these nine female drivers in four different cars race in the 62nd Rolex 24. Race broadcast coverage begins on the NBC network Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ET, shifts to USA at 2:30 p.m., 10 p.m. and Sunday at 6 a.m., with network coverage concluding on NBC at noon. The entire race streams live on Peacock.