Michelle Gatting: “A little more respect would be nice”

If the Iron Ladies have already won in WEC and GT, the girls remain in search of success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After the Ferrari and the Porsche in GTE, it’s time for the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for Michelle Gatting, Rahel Frey and Sarah Bovy.

Since the start of the WEC season, the Iron Dames have won a pole in LMGT3 but also a goalless result in the race at Imola. Wednesday evening, Michelle Gatting was unable to place the Lamborghini in Hyperpole. The Dane, who regularly tells it like it is, secured a 9th place at the gates of this Hyperpole. The race will be long and all hopes are high for the trio in the #85. However, the Dane places emphasis on sharing the track which can prove complicated.

Photo: MPS Agency

What assessment do you draw from your first part of the season?

At Daytona (in IMSA, editor’s note), we had our best result in IMSA. Then, we had our share of bad luck but we showed great potential in each race. I think all three of us have made a good step forward from last year. The victory won at the end of 2023 in Bahrain was a source of motivation. Even though we haven’t won a race yet this year, we have led every race. This shows that pace alone is not enough, you need the complete package.

Is everything ready at the Iron Dames?

I think we have never been so prepared for the event, both physically and as a team. We have taken a big step forward since the WEC meeting in Qatar. At the start of the season, the car wasn’t as fun to drive as it is now. You also need a bit of luck to win. I hope our time has come. All three of us are doing our best to get the best possible result and I hope it pays off.

Photo: Iron Dames

Disappointed to be at the gates of the Hyperpole?

I was very happy to take part in the qualification because in recent years Sarah has been in charge of the exercise. Everyone that qualifying offers a special feeling with three sets of new tires and little fuel. I can’t say there was anything that went wrong. On my fast lap, I arrived in the Porsche Corners area and saw gravel on the track. I told myself that if I kept going, what could happen? I preferred to hold on and lose 1 or 2 tenths. On this part of the circuit, we cannot say that there is a lot of space. Of course, it would have been good to move to Hyperpole because we had the potential. On the other hand, I tell myself that if I had gone full throttle and the car had gone out, the team would have had extra work.

Is sharing the track a problem?

We push hard, we take risks without doing stupid things on the track. Sharing the track is sometimes complicated with drivers in the Hypercar category. We are not yet in a race that will include three categories but I hope there will be more respect from some Hypercar drivers. Sometimes they can be quite aggressive in their decision making. I don’t know what they’re thinking, maybe we’ll disappear into the middle of nowhere, which isn’t the case. This year, the level in Hypercar is very high. Endurance is a discipline where we are all on the track at the same time without touching each other. I noticed that it was complicated during the Test Day and during qualifying. A little more respect would be nice.

A word on your new helmet?

For this race, I’m introducing a new helmet design that uses the team’s white. Some Danish fans pointed out to me that I didn’t have the Danish flag on my helmet. So I decided to separate the designs with on one side the Danish flag and my nickname ‘Michy’, on the other the French flag, the Le Mans circuit, a reminder to the team, but also some souvenirs, notably a reminder to Allan Simonsen who died here in 2013, Jules Bianchi and a dedication to my boyfriend. I hope this will bring us the luck that eludes us.

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