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The first woman to race in Formula One

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Maria Teresa de Filippis with her motor-racing trophies | Photo from Popperfoto/Getty Images

“I was either courageous or reckless, or foolhardy; Call it what you want, I just like to go at full speed.” – Maria Teresa de Filippis

In 1958, Maria Teresa de Filippis was the first woman to race in a Formula One, driving a privately entered Maserati 250F.

Maria Teresa de Filippis was born on November 11, 1926, in Naples, Italy. In 1948, at 22 years old, she began her motor racing career after her brothers bet her she couldn’t drive fast – boy did she prove them wrong. In the same year, she participated in her first race — the 10-kilometer Salerno-Cava de ‘Tirreni, a 500cc class touring car event, which she won.

“That very first victory ignites her passion for racing and in the following year she triumphed in several competitions in the 750cc category,” Maserati noted in a news release celebrating de Filippis for International Women’s Day.

Maria Teresa de Filippis with her motor-racing trophies | Photo from Popperfoto/Getty Images

Throughout 1953 and 1954, she moved on to race an Osca 1100cc, winning the 12 Hours of Pescara, the Rullo d’Oro, the Catania-Etna, and on the circuits of Caserta and Syracuse.

In 1955, she transitioned to a Maserati 2000 A6GCS. With the Maserati, de Filippis won the Catania-Etna in record time and finished in second place in the 200cc class season championship.

“A powerful car with which I felt I could do anything… and I did,” Maria wrote in an article about her racing career. “Poor car! So many spectacular accidents, but also so many victories!”

In 1958, she competed in her first Formula World Championship Grand Prix in Belgium with a private Maserati 250F, making her the first woman to compete in Formula 1.

Maria Teresa de Filippis competing at Belgian Grand Prix in 1958 | Photo from Rex/Shutterstock

Maria Teresa de Filippis competing at Belgian Grand Prix in 1958 | Photo from Rex/Shutterstock

“Able to stand out in an environment that had previously been considered exclusively male, Maria Teresa de Filippis earned the respect and esteem of her rivals in the field and brought to the track the values that still guide Maserati today: excellence, elegance and power,” notes Maserati.

“Maserati and Maria Teresa de Filippis represent a winning combination,” the automaker continues. “A story of tenacity, courage and audacity. The desire and resolve to face technical, physical and personal challenges and to transform them into opportunities to be seized, looking to the future with determination.”

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Shortly after competing in her first Formula 1, de Filippis retired from racing following the death of fellow driver and friend Jean Behra in August 1959.

Maria Teresa de Filippis with Juan Manuel Fangio and Jean Behra (Monaco GP, 1959) | Photo from Maser

Maria Teresa de Filippis with Juan Manuel Fangio and Jean Behra (Monaco GP, 1959) | Photo from Maser

In an interview with the Observer in 2006, she explained her decision:

“Too many friends had died,” she said. “There was a succession of deaths – Luigi Musso, Peter Collings, Alfonso de Portago, Mike Hawthorn. Then Behra was killed in Berling. That, for me, was the most tragic because it was in a race that I should have been taking part in. I didn’t go to the circuits anymore.

“The following year I got married, then my daughter was born and family life became for important.”

Maria Teresa de Filippis died in 2016, yet her strength, determination and accomplishments continue to inspire.

This article, written by Racheal Colbert, was originally published on ClassicCars.com, an editorial partner of Motor Authority.

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Autos

1990 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo IMSA GTO race car for sale

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1990 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo IMSA GTO race car (Photo by Bring a Trailer)

Nissan scored some of its biggest racing successes in the late 1980s and early 1990s, competing in the IMSA GTP prototype class and racing the Z32-generation 300ZX in the GTO class. One of those 300ZX IMSA GTO race cars is now for sale on Bring a Trailer.

Clayton Cunningham racing built seven factory-supported cars, which raced between 1989 and 1995. This car—chassis 004—debuted in 1990 and raced in 1991 as well, with wins at Road Atlanta and Watkins Glen, seven pole positions, two fastest laps, and a 93% finishing record, according to the listing.

Power is provided by a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6, coupled to a 5-speed manual transmission with rear-wheel drive.

1990 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo IMSA GTO race car (Photo by Bring a Trailer)

Carbon-fiber bodywork vaguely resembles a stock 1990 Nissan 300ZX, but underneath is a bespoke chromoly tubular space frame. Chassis 004 debuted an extended-wheelbase layout intended to help cure handling ills with the first three cars.

After 14 races, chassis 004 was retired at the end of the 1991 season. It was used as a backup car, before being sold in 1997 to a Canadian owner. That owner left the car unused before returning it to Clayton Cunningham Racing in 2003 for reconditioning, according to the listing. The car then sat idle again until it was sold in 2017 to an Oregon owner, who entered it in vintage races. It was refurbished a second time before being acquired by the current owner in 2020, according to the listing.

Its worth noting that a similar car, chassis 002, built for the 1989 IMSA season, went unsold after being listed by Stratas Auctions last year. That car has at the same twin-turbo engine as chassis 004, but the earlier short-wheelbase chassis. It also never won a race; its best finish was third at Mid-Ohio.

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Autos

How to choose 35-inch or 37-inch tires

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2021 Ford F-150 Raptor

The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor will be available with 35-inch or 37-inch tires when it hits dealerships this summer, and the choice really depends on how you plan to use the Raptor, according to Muscle Cars & Trucks.

Based on interviews with Ford engineers, the website advises that the 35-inch tires are better for high-speed off-roading, while the 37-inch tires are better for driving over large obstacles at slower speeds.

Both 2021 Raptor tires are from the BF Goodrich K02 series. The truck comes standard with 35-inch tires; the 37-inch tires are a $7,500 option. They’re also the largest tires available from the factory for a half-ton pickup truck.

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor

The bigger tires come with various hardware and software changes, which should avoid the ride and steering issues that often come with simply bolting bigger tires onto a truck, Adam Busack, Ford Performance feature engineering supervisor for the 2021 Raptor, said in an interview with Muscle Cars & Trucks. Those changes include repackaged suspension, and calibration changes for the steering, powertrain, and anti-lock brakes.

Other notable features of the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor include first-ever coil-spring rear suspension, increased suspension travel (now 14 inches in the front and 15 inches in the rear), and Fox internal-bypass shocks. The Raptor also moves to the current-generation F-150 platform, which brings increased structural rigidity and a new infotainment system, among other features.

Under the hood, the Raptor gets a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6, teamed with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Output hasn’t been announced, but we expect it to surpass the previous generation’s 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. Ford has confirmed that an upcoming 2022 Raptor R will get a V-8, but hasn’t released any other details.

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Autos

2022 Genesis G70, 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS, 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: This Week’s Top Photos

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Electric Porsche Macan development

Genesis this week kicked off its European launch with the reveal of a sexy G70 wagon. It’s based on the updated 2022 Genesis G70 sedan, and sadly we won’t see it in the United States.

Electric Porsche Macan development

Porsche plans to offer an electric Macan alongside an updated version of the current gas-powered model. While we’ve previously spotted the updated gas model, Porsche this week provided a glimpse of the new electric Macan for the first time.

2023 Porsche Cayenne Coupe facelift spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2023 Porsche Cayenne Coupe facelift spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

Another Porsche out testing was an updated Cayenne. Porsche’s Cayenne range is about to undergo its mid-cycle refresh and the changes look to be more substantial than normal. Our latest spy shots show a prototype for the more dynamically styled Cayenne Coupe.

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS production at plant in Sindelfingen, Germany

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS production at plant in Sindelfingen, Germany

Mercedes-Benz reached a major turning point with the start of production of its first dedicated electric vehicle, the 2022 EQS. The big sedan is due in showrooms this fall with a 108 kilowatt-hour battery, or enough for 400 miles of range.

2021 Lexus IS350 F Sport

2021 Lexus IS350 F Sport

Lexus has a new generation of its IS sedan on its hands, one that boasts bold styling and a sport-tuned chassis. The car is more of a heavy update of the outgoing IS than a true redesign, and this becomes evident after a quick drive.

2021 Acura TLX Type S

2021 Acura TLX Type S

An alternative to the IS is Acura’s new TLX, which comes in sporty Type S guise. The TLX Type S is serving as the official pace car at this weekend’s Mid-Ohio round of the 2021 WeatherTech Sports Car Championship, ahead of the showroom appearance later this month.

2022 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2022 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

Chevy engineers were spotted testing a hotter version of the mid-engined C8 Corvette, and it’s likely the new Z06. We hear it will run a naturally aspirated V-8, and some video footage of the tester seems to confirm it.

2022 Ineos Grenadier prototype

2022 Ineos Grenadier prototype

The Land Rover Defender-inspired Ineos Grenadier is undergoing durability testing ahead of the start of production in 2022. That’s about a year later than originally planned, but a lot has changed in the past year, and that’s before you factor in the disruptions caused by the coronavirus.

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