Danica proves that women can beat men behind the wheel

Woman racing drivers have always had to battle to overcome discrimination as well as the challenges of the racing circuit to make it in the profession. Throughout the history of motorsport women have come and gone without making a lasting impression; that was until 26-year-old Danica Patrick became the first woman to ever win an Indy Car race.

When Patrick took the chequered flag at the Twin Ring Motegi in Japan in May 2008, she notched her first win in three years of competition to make motor racing history. However, because breaking her duck was such a long time in coming she had previously been subject to a great deal of criticism from fellow competitors due to the amount of media attention that she attracted. They felt it was disproportionate to her ability, a claim that has now been put to rest in emphatic fashion.

As well as being a highly accomplished driver Patrick is also not averse to appearing in men’s magazines such as FHM and the Sports Illustrated Swimwear Edition, and it is that sort of lucrative endorsement that her fellow drivers could not enjoy. In addition to the envy over media attention, some drivers even complained that because of her diminutive size and weight - 5 feet 2 inches and 7 stone 2 pounds respectively - it gave her a racing advantage. Again that accusation has been debunked as her first race won was run in the year when the rules were changed to take the driver’s weight into account when calculating the racing weights.

After her historic win a change of competition may be beckoning for Patrick as Honda are rumoured to be lining her up for Formula One testing later in 2008, meaning that UK motor racing fans could be watching her compete in F1 against the likes of Lewis Hamilton in the 2009 season.

However, for many women the success of Patrick comes as no surprise. They will point out that http://www.lv.com/insurance/Car_Insurance/useful_info/womens-car-insurance car insurance for women tends to be cheaper than for men for a very good reason; namely that women are better drivers. Of course, that comment will spark a lot of debate! The reason for lower premiums for women is that they cause fewer accidents than men and are therefore considered a better risk. But, as many men will point out that may result from women being ‘over-cautious’ behind the wheel or driving a lot less than men, rather than merely being ‘better’ drivers.

However, regardless of the relative merits of men versus women behind the wheel one woman, Danica Patrick, has proved that she can successfully compete against men and indeed beat them when she gets behind the wheel of an Indy Car.

Daniel Collins writes on a number of topics on behalf of a digital marketing agency and a variety of clients. As such, this article is to be considered a professional piece with business interests in mind.

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