Robertson Racing will field the first all-female driver pairing in the history of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón at the upcoming Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge. Regular driver and team co-owner Andrea Robertson will be joined by GT veteran Melanie Snow (LEFT) in the No. 40 Doran Ford GT. Andrea's husband and fellow co-owner/driver David Robertson will stand down for the two-hour, 45-minute enduro set for Aug. 6.
Mid-Ohio will be Snow's first ALMS event since 2009 when she shared the inaugural ALMS Challenge championship with husband Martin. The pair scored three class victories in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Melanie Snow currently is a leading contender in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama's Platinum Cup standings, having won the 2009 Gold Cup championship. It has been 12 years since her first and only main GT class appearance when she won in her debut at Sebring in 1999.
“Andrea and I have been friends for a while and always joked about forming an all-girl team," said Snow. "It was something I never really expected, though, so when I got an e-mail out of the blue it was a shock, but also a nice surprise.
"Obviously a lot has changed since I last raced in what was the original GT class, but the Challenge cars aren't too far away in terms of performance, so hopefully it won't be much of a step up. Having said that I'm expecting the Ford to handle completely different to the Porsche I usually race. I'm sure I'll get to grips with it during the test so we can hit the ground running in free practice. At the moment the deal is just for Mid-Ohio but we'll play it by ear and see what happens for the rest of the season.”
A day's testing at Mid-Ohio the Tuesday before the race weekend will offer Snow her first chance to sample the Ford GT. At this stage, the deal only includes the Lexington round, although further outings could be added.
“It's great to have Melanie on board for Mid-Ohio," said team manager Andrew "H" Smith. "She has a lot of experience in GT cars so I'm confident it won't be long before she's up to speed in the Ford. Andrea had expressed an interest in her joining the team, and I think it's a great opportunity for them to show how well they stack up against their male counterparts. We've had lots of women racers take part in the ALMS over the past 12 years, so it's about time an all-female crew was given their chance. We're not ruling out running Melanie again later in the season, but at the moment Mid-Ohio is the only round scheduled.”
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge, the fifth round of the 2011 ALMS championship, is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 6 with ESPN2 airing the race starting at 10 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 7.