Simona de Silvestro: First Female to Win a Professional Race at Lime Rock Park

Photo via albionphoto


Simona de Silvestro: First Female to Win a Professional Race at Lime Rock Park

Women in Lime Rock Park History


Though Lime Rock Park was established in 1957, it would be nearly 50 years after the first race was held before a female driver would claim the checkered flag.


As a former development driver for Formula One, Simona de Silvestro has competed in races across several series including Australian Supercars, Formula E and IMSA. De Silvestro started in six Indianapolis 500 races, was crowned the 2010 IndyCar Rookie of the Year and most recently launched a campaign to compete on the Swiss National Bobsled team for the 2026 Olympic Winter games.


The 33-year-old Swiss-Italian driver first started making history at Lime Rock Park with two big career wins at the track in open-wheel competition.


In 2006, the then 18-year-old  de Silvestro started in the front row of the IMSA Formula BMW race at Lime Rock Park. She moved into first on the fourth lap and didn’t look back, heading the robust and talented field for the final 21 laps to secure her first win in the category and becoming the first woman to win a professional race at Lime Rock Park.


De Silvestro returned to Lime Rock Park three years later in 2009 with The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. De Silvestro started from pole position and led every lap en route to a 10.004-second victory over second place. The win marked de Silvestro’s fourth Atlantic career victory and catapulted her to be named the winningest female driver in Atlantic history. She went on to finish third in points that season.


The Switzerland-born driver moved into IndyCar in 2010 and competed full-time through 2014, with her best finish second at Houston in 2013 – joining Danica Patrick and Sarah Fisher as the lone podium-finishing women in IndyCar racing history. De Silvestro drove for Andretti in Formula E in 2015-16, with her best finish ninth at Long Beach in 2016.


De Silvestro most recently competed in the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 with the first all-female IndyCar team Paretta Autosport. Created by female automotive and motorsports executive Beth Paretta, Paretta Autosport is part of IndyCar’s “Race for Equality and Change” initiative.


De Silvestro is now a Porsche factory GT3 driver, and in her free time, living out her dream of becoming an Olympic athlete. She finished fifth in the monobob at the Swiss Bobsledding Championships in February.


IMSA returns to Lime Rock Park for the Northeast Grand Prix July 15-16. For more information visit: Northeast Grand Prix – Lime Rock Park