Podcast: Leena Gade – Engineering the Greats at Le Mans

Motor Sport Podcast

How to lead a Le Mans team to victory — three times. In the latest episode of our Engineering the Greats podcast series, Leena Gade, the first female race engineer to win the 24 Hour race, reveals what it takes to succeed

As trailblazers go in motor sport, there aren’t many that can match up with the groundbreaking achievements of Leena Gade.

Making her name in a male-dominated racing world in the early 2000s, the British engineer quickly worked her way up the ranks with Audi, then the pre-eminent force in endurance racing.

The German marque’s technical might and Gade’s engineering nous proved a potent combination: on her Le Mans debut in 2011 she became the first female race engineer to win at La Sarthe, overseeing Audi’s unfancied squad of André Lotterer, Benoît Tréluyer and Marcel Fässler.

She would mastermind wins again in 2012 and 2014, sealing her place as one of Le Mans’ engineering greats, before working in GT racing, IndyCar and now Extreme E.

In the latest instalment of our Engineering the Greats podcast, Gade opens up on what it was like to be in the centre of the Audi winning machine.

She recounts the chaotic build-up to the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours, when her squad snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, and what it took for the German giant to experience success so regularly in the face of challenges from Peugeot, Porsche and Toyota.

Gade also goes into the detail of her brilliantly diverse career since then, including why the challenge of IndyCar is like nothing else and the unique task posed by engineering electric off-road vehicles for McLaren’s Extreme E team.

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Engineering The Greats Series 2 is brought to you in association with Scalextric

Listeners can claim 10% off all Scalextric products by visiting www.scalextric.com and using the discount code RACE10 at Checkout.

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This offer is valid until September 30 2023 and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers. A full list of terms and conditions is available on the Scalextric website

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