x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Pretty in pink - at 220kph

In a Renault Clio decorated with a splash of pink, the only all-female team in this year's Dunlop 24 Hour Dubai are not too hard to spot.

DUBAI // In a Renault Clio decorated with a splash of pink, the only all-female team in this year's Dunlop 24 Hour Dubai are not too hard to spot.

But this is no underpowered lady-car. The four-woman team, Springbox, have put in a 2000cc engine that can take them up to 220kph, and have a style of driving that would make most boy racers blush.

"We are used to it. We all have been racing for a few years," said Corentine Quiniou, a 28-year-old from France. "It's nice to be an all-female team. It doesn't happen very often."

Ms Quiniou had a busy 2010. As well as testing a Le Mans prototype car, she raced in last year's Dunlop 24 Hour Dubai in a bigger car, an Aston Martin. She also took part in a rally in Morocco. Five years ago, she completed the famously gruelling Dakar rally.

When she was 15, she would beat the boys at karting. She progressed into the French Championships, and has not looked back.

The other three team members are Jade Handi and Amandine Foulard, both from France, and Cyndie Allemann from Switzerland.

Ms Handi, 28, started racing moto-cross at 21. Her boyfriend was the French moto-cross champion at the time.

She quickly progressed to quad bikes before racing 4x4s at 25. "You first need to love speed and maybe I have some aggressiveness inside me," Ms Handi said.