Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for CarInsuranceCompanies.com with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Sep 21, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • Many people still think that race car driving is only for men
  • Janet Gauthier is the first woman to drive in the Indianapolis 500
  • Milka Duno is the first woman to win a Ferrari Challenge race in the USA

Male drivers dominate some sports and racing is one of those. From Michael Schumacher to Mario Andretti men often are the first to come to mind when discussing speed, however, there are many female drivers who can leave many male drivers behind in their dust.

Check out our list of top female drivers below.

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Table of Contents

 Who are the top 5 women drivers?

Opinions will vary but few can argue these women have contributed anything less than spectacular achievements to the world of race car driving. Truly professional female race car drivers, critics cannot label them as guests in a male’s sport.

Listed below are some of the best female drivers:

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– Danica Patrick

Born Danica Sue Patrick in 1982 Danica is probably the most well known female driver today inspiring millions of female drivers around the world (and charming male ones).

Danica is much more than just a pretty Sports Illustrated cover with a highly accomplished resume in the Indy Car and NASCAR circuits as one of the best female Indy Car drivers.

In 2009, Danica placed third at the Indianapolis 500 setting a record for the highest finish ever by a woman in the history of the Indy 500.

Danica has also become something of a legend on the web acting as the main spokesperson title for the GoDaddy brand or GoDaddy Girl as Bob Parsons likes to brand.

Her beauty and racing talent has created a loyal following and gained much more celebrity power than almost any other female driver in current history.

In 2005, Danica was named IndyCar Rookie of the Year and for three of the last four years, she has been IndyCar’s most popular driver.

– Janet Guthier

Janet was not only the first woman ever to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500 (in the same year nonetheless) but also a licensed pilot, flight instructor, and aerospace engineer.

In 1976, Janet was invited by one of the veteran racing car owners Rolla Vollstedt to test drive a car for the Indianapolis 500.  Later that year, Janet became the first woman ever to compete in a NASCAR Winston Cup superspeedway stock car race.

A year later in 1977, she became the first woman to qualify for and compete in the Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500 (winning Top Rookie).

A lifetime of achievement in the racing industry has earned Janet a place not only in the history books of racing but also a presence at the Smithsonian Institution where her helmet and suit are displayed.

More recently an autobiography of Janet’s exciting life has been published titled “Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle”

– Milka Duno

Milka is the first Latin American women driver ever to be classified as an expert driver and if there is anything sexy about women drivers, Milka Duno has it all.

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Milka has not just been featured on covers of magazines worldwide but proved year after year she is one hell of a female race driver.

Milka’s most noted debut was at the American LeMan’s Series where she drove a Dodge Viper GTS and finished third making her the first woman in history to ever finish in this category at the series.

More titles and crowns include:

  • First woman to win a Ferrari Challenge race in the USA
  • First woman to score points at Europe’s World Series Light by Nissan Championship
  • First woman to race the fastest cars in the Open Telefonica World Series
  • First woman with two class wins at Petit Le Mans Series
  • First woman to win overall a major international sports car race in North America
  • First woman to twice win overall a major sports car race in North America
  • Highest finish ever by a female driver in the Prestigious Rolex Sports Car Series
  • and more

Racing is not Milka’s only talent however as she also holds a masters degree in Organizational Development, Naval Architecture, Maritime Business, and Marine Biology and even worked prior to racing as a naval engineer.

Milka is best known for holding the record of the highest finish ever for a female driver in the 24 Hours of Daytona.

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– Katherine Legge

A British racing driver Katherine has been around for well over a decade and won many titles including the first woman ever to win a development open-wheel race in North America by placing first in the 2005 Toyota Atlantic Championship in Long Beach, California.

Katherine’s racing credits include starts in Formula 3, Formula Renault, Formula Ford and more key racing circuits including several history breaking moments like in 2005 when she made history becoming the first women to test an A1 Grand Prix car.

In 2006 Katherine was in a serious car accident at the 2006 Champ Car race at Road America where she managed to survive one of the most violent crashes in history walking away nearly unharmed. She continues to race.

– Genevra Delphine Mudge

No top 5 or top 10 list of woman drivers is complete without listing Genevra Delphine Mudge.

While there is some debate its widely accepted that Genevra Delphine Mudge was the first woman driver in America obtaining a New York State drivers license in 1898.

Although she is reported to have driven a Waverley Electric car she is also considered by most historians to be the first woman race driver and the first woman driver to have a recorded accident.

Female Race Car Drivers

Today’s women drivers can take pride in not just the incredible representation of women like the ones above but also how statistics show women are both safer drivers and involved in much fewer accidents than men.

Women race car drivers are really paving the way for females in this sport, which has always been much more male-dominated. In coming years, the hopes for new women race drivers should be high.

Learn about car insurance for women drivers and why auto insurance rates are almost always lower if you are a female driver.

Compare car insurance for women drivers with the FREE tool to car insurance companies online by entering your zip code below!