Who Is Sophia Floersch?

Sophia Floersch is one of the most promising up-and-comers in motorsports. She began racing karts at just four years old and has been breaking records ever since. So far, her career has been a showcase of talent and hard work and, after tragedy struck, an awe-inspiring comeback. Read on to find how Who Sophia Floersch is. 

Who Is Sophia Floersch?

Who is Sophia Floersch? NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Sophia Floersch of Germany and Campos Racing prepares for practice for the Formula 3 Championship at Silverstone on July 31, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Sophia Floersch | Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

Sophia Floersch (born in 2000) is a talented driver who has been racing karts, Grand Prix cars, and endurance cars for years. Floersch (often written Flörsch) began kart racing in 2005. Flörsch was the youngest driver competing in three separate championships between 2008 and 2010. For this reason, Redbull scouted her early. 

When Floersch graduated to the full-sized cars of the Ginetta Junior circuit in 2015, she became the youngest driver to win a race, winning two and placing in two more in her first year. In 2016, Flörsch graduated to Formula 4, improving her standings dramatically over two years. In 2018, Flörsch graduated to Formula 3 and was selected to race in the Macau Grand Prix. Bad luck in Macau would soon have the world asking, “Who is Sophia Floersch?”

A Flying Crash During the 2018 Macau Grand Prix

Who is Sophia Floersch? SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JULY 03: Sophia Floersch of Germany and Campos Racing prepares for practice for the Formula 3 Championship at Red Bull Ring on July 03, 2020 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Sophia Floersch, Formula 3 Championship | Photo by Joe Portlock

During the Grand Prix, Floersch was accelerating down a straightaway when a flagman accidentally showed a yellow flag. The driver in front of Floersch–Jehan Daruvala–likely hit his brakes, and Floersch rear-ended his car. The impact broke the front suspension on the left side of Fleorsch’s car, and she spun out of control. Floersch’s car flew backward off the track, fully airborne, at 171.6 mph. She smashed through a fence and a stand of corner photographers.

In the end, Floersch suffered multiple spinal fractures. She endured a grueling, 10-hour surgery. She set up an aggressive physical therapy schedule and insisted upon returning to race the following season. Floersch raced in Formula 3 again, even returning to the Macau Grand Prix.

Sophia Floersch Criticized The W Series

Who is Sophia Floersch? BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 17: Laureus World Comeback of the Year award winner German racing driver Sophia Floersch speaks on stage during the 2020 Laureus World Sports Awards at Verti Music Hall on February 17, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for Laureus)
Sophia Floersch wins Comeback of the Year | Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for Laureus

Women have been competing in Grand Prix racing since the 1950s. Yet a recent study confirmed that women in motorsports still face rampant discrimination and sexism.

While Floersch has set several historic firsts for female race car drivers, if you ask her, “Who is Sophia Floersch? she will not say “A female race car driver.” She prefers to be classified simply as a race car driver. 

Floersch told ABC News, “There is no difference between women and men in the cars…maybe outside I am a different type, but in the car, no one cares, and everyone is a driver, and everyone is fighting to win.” 

Floersch criticized the W Series–the women’s Formula 3 championship–as a “step back on a sporting level” that is “not the way to help women in motorsport.” 

Tackling A New Sport

Who is Sophia Floersch? SPA, BELGIUM - 29 APRIL: The #01 Richard Mille Racing Team Oreca 07 - Gibson of Tatiana Calderon, Sophia Floersch, and Beitske Visser in action during practice for the opening round of the World Endurance Championship on April 29, 2021 at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. (Photo by James Moy Photography/Getty Images)
Sophia Floersch’s #1 endurace car | Photo by James Moy Photography/Getty Images

In 2020, Floersch competed in her first season of endurance racing. She entered the 2020 Le Mans as a driver for the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 class. Floersch was instrumental in steering her team to a 9th place finish in their class. 

In 2021, Floersch returned to Le Mans, once again at the wheel for the Richard Mille Racing Team. During the race, it began to rain. While many of the drivers still raced on slick dry-weather tires, several LMP2 cars crashed into one another. This road race course features several harrowing S-curves. As the pack entered the “Porsche curves,” Franco Colapinto lost control and ran into Floersch. Her car spun in a circle and slammed into the wall.

Floersch attempted to back her car off the track. But before she could get clear, another racer came up behind her and smashed into her. According to the Le Mans concussion protocol, after an impact of that magnitude, Floersch had to leave the race for a medical checkup. This is a smart policy on one of the deadliest racing circuits in the world, but Floersch was reluctant to quit.

Sophia Floersch is a Rising Star of Motorsports

Who is Sophia Floersch? BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 14: Sophia Floersch of Germany and Campos Racing looks on from the pit wall during qualifying for the Formula 3 Championship at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on August 14, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Sophia Floersch | Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

During her ABC interview, Sophia Floersch said it is her lifelong dream to compete in Formula 1. Perhaps we will see her behind the wheel of an F1 car someday soon. Or maybe she has caught the endurance racing bug, and we will see her atop the Le Mans podium. Her short career has shown she has the talent and grit to succeed in multiple motorsports. So if someone asks you, “Who is Sophia Floersch?” you can tell them she is one of the brightest rising stars of motorsports.

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