Just race car drivers

27 May

If you haven’t yet heard of Danica Patrick, then get on your search engines – she’s the woman that has been a top ten contender over the past years in the Indy 500. A sport that infamously has been the action center of male drivers and as the Jr’s and Sr’s are aplenty, one even might note that it is often in a nepotistical fashion that track knowledge gets passed along.

Patrick has turned out attention back to the track, as a sporting space where the physicality needed to play at the elite level is not a variable: She is one of several contenders in this years race, perhaps flagging that the doors to the vehicles themselves are being opened up from the inside (though remember someone else is still holding the keys to the cars). Whilst it is a fantastic sight to see, I get troubled by the para-text of the athletes in action. This report brings news of one driver’s efforts only to phrase it in a bracketed manner, as something still different than the rest, in this case noting that Swiss driver Simona de Silvestro qualified “fastest among the women, 24th overall”. The swimsuit spreads are a certainty, as is the Sports Illustrated cover with a glossed and well manicured (read not active) “athlete”/model. Watch out at this years Indy 500, perhaps we’ll hear that they’re “just race car drivers” after all.

[edit] – just came across this post on racing mothers which adds more layers to the discussion. And another link to a film about Swedish race car driver’s come-back to the track after putting family first.

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