Lillian
Bryner

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Switzerland's Lilian Bryner became the second woman to win a major international 24-Hour sports car endurance race in 2004 when she triumphed in the Spa 24 Hours which finished on Sunday 1 August. Driving a Ferrari 550 Maranello with Enzo Calderari, Luca Cappellari and Fabrizio Gollin, it was Lilian who brought the car across the finishing-line to a place in the motor-sport history books. Britain's "Daily Telegraph" reported Bryner as saying after the event : "I don't think of this as a woman having won the race, but as a driver, and I hope that other women follow."

Interview
You have a background in riding - is there a link between riding and cars?

LB : "I did three-day eventing, although I do not compete anymore. I was in the Olympic team, but that was the year that Switzerland did not go to Moscow. I did one more year of competition, and then stopped. In some ways, you need a lot of sensitivity in riding, there has to be a connection between you and something else, either the car or the horse"

How do you see the current situation of women in motorsport ? Is the situation improving ?

LB : "I think it is improving. When I was little, I had no information about it. It was something very far away from what a girl could do, as far as society, parents were concerned. I think it's good for girls to see some women race successfully, so they know - yes, we can do it ! The mentality still needs to change. It is hard when you start out, as you are not taken very seriously. You have additional pressure. If we do a mistake, everyone says it's because you're a woman. When a man does a mistake, no-one even notices. Sometimes it is difficult, but I hope things are changing more and more."

 

What about this season ?

LB : "I didn't have that good start to the season in Monza, as I had to start from the pit lane. But we are not doing the whole season; we are concentrating on Spa and then will have to see for the rest of the season. We are working on getting an Aston Martin for next year and to concentrate on that. This is a transition year for me. But Spa is my real objective for this year. Last year's win did change my career; it got a lot of media attention. It has made it easier to look for sponsorship."

Any final words to girls out there who are thinking about getting started ?
LB : Don't be afraid to get into this men's world.

 

Profile

Name Lilian Bryner
Nationality SUI
Date of Birth 21st Apr, 1959
Birthplace Milan, Italy
Residence Montagnola, Switzerland
Profession racing driver: FIA GT3. 1993-1995, 1997 Le Mans
Marital Status single
Hobbies skiing, martial arts, reading
Favorite Track Suzuka

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