A petite Italian woman, Lella Lombardi, became the first woman in fifteen years to compete in a major international motor racing event when she came fourth int eh Rothmans 5000 at Brands Hatch in Britain on Saturday (16 March).
MV Lella Lombardi, in racing overalls, with car in pits
MV Spectators stand in rain
MV Lombardi's car onto grid
GTV No.52 onto grid
MV Guy Edwards in cockpit of car
MV Lombardi on grid
GV Spectators PAN
GTV PAN Race begins
GTV Cars take corner
LS PAN Cars around track
GTV Lombardi around bend followed by No.52 (Gethin, eventual winner) passes Lombardi on straight.
GV PAN Gethin down straight and past winner's flag
TV Spectators and photographers
MV Lombardi kisses winner Gethin
Initials AE/3.22 AE/3.41
SPORT - MOTOR RACING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A petite Italian woman, Lella Lombardi, became the first woman in fifteen years to compete in a major international motor racing event when she came fourth int eh Rothmans 5000 at Brands Hatch in Britain on Saturday (16 March).
It was also the first time a woman had competed in Formula 5000 - the most powerful of the single-seater racing classes.
Only five feet two inches tall Miss Lombardi became interested in motor racing when only a school-girl. No aged thirty-one, she has reached the to??? echelons of international motor racing and last year won the Italian's Woman's Championship for the sixth time.
SYNOPSIS: Lella Lombardi, the first woman for fifteen years to challenge the supremacy of men on the international motor racing circuit, prepares for the most important race of her career - the Rothmans 5000 on the daunting Brands Hatch circuit in Britain on Saturday. Attractive and only five feet two inches tall she first became interested in motor racing as a school girl. She bought her first car, a Formula Monza, in 1965 and was soon regularly conquering her male opponents. By 1972 she had qualified for Formula Three and last year won the Italian Woman's Championship for the sixth time.
Now, aged thirty-one, she is driving her yellow Lola-Chevrolet against some of the world's most skilful make drivers.
Run in perfect weather, Saturday's race soon gave Miss Lombardi an opportunity to show her abilities. Despite her size and the high physical stresses involved she handled her 190 mile an hour car with precision.
But no skill could compensate for the extra power of Peter Gethin's Chevron and he overhauled her on a short straight.
Although the first three places went to men Miss Lombardi captured fourth place - a fine achievement for any new driver in Formula 5000. And afterwards she showed winner Peter Gethin some traditional feminine attention.