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Solenn Mace: “Anything is possible”

Established in 2009, the FIA’s Women in Motorsport Commission encourages women who are keen on motorsport to take their interest further, irrespective of the role that attracts them. From actually driving, to working as a mechanic, engineer or even official, it is possible for ladies like Solenn Mace to realise their dreams. An engine component designer at Peugeot Sport, Solenn, 26, met the commission’s president Deborah Mayer at the 9X8’s recent FIA WEC debut at Monza, Italy, during a guided tour of Team Peugeot TotalEnergies’ facilities in the company of Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares and Stellantis Motorsport Director Jean-Marc Finot. Solenn wants to see her career serve as an example for others.

Peugeot Sport WIM (3)

“My journey in motorsport began as an engine parts design engineer for Peugeot Sport’s WEC programme in February 2020,” she recalls. “When you start out as a young student, you see engines as a bit like automotive aristocracy, even though you learn later that other components play just as decisive a part in the overall performance package. Never in my college years would I have imagined that one day I would find myself involved in an international programme like this. I had no knowledge of engine history, nor of how engines have evolved, so it seemed out of the question. I wasn’t sure I was up to the job but I realise today that it is a perfect fit for me. With experience, I have effectively come to realise how much I enjoy working under pressure, with very short turnarounds. As the 9X8 embarks upon its competitive career after months of testing, I feel a certain pride, but also a sense of responsibility. Along with my drawing-office colleagues, I contribute to the design of a hundred or so engine parts, like the exhaust line and manifold.


“How did I get here? Well, first of all, by choosing the subjects that interested me at school – chiefly scientific subjects. Then during a college Open Day, I heard about engineering science options and went down that path. I liked mechanical design and, after college, I studied at ESTACA which teaches fields ranging from railway and automotive engineering to aeronautics during Year 1. I obtained internships in the latter two before finally plumping for the automobile where I found the projects more concrete, because the parts you work on can show up on the vehicle just weeks later. I like that.


“I was in different departments at Stellantis before joining the WEC programme. I worked on seat comfort and foam compression, then moved on to the DS3 Crossback’s dashboard and console, etc., where the short timescale between design and production appealed to me. When the WEC offer arose, I was immediately tempted but wondered whether I was up to working in the unique world of sport where every happens so much faster than in the world of series production. That’s why I was drawn by the Women in Motorsport drive, to show how we imagine our own glass ceilings. Yet anything is possible for women in motorsport, so I would like to see my example serve as encouragement for other young girls who might be interested but who have doubts.


“In motorsport, the work is both individual and collective, and that’s a plus. The secret of a well-designed part? Its weight, how easy it is to dismantle, its performance, its resilience, its cost and its production lead-time. If you’re interested in this line of work, don’t hesitate. Take the leap!”


Peugeot Sport WIM

Deborah Mayer (President, FIA Women in Motorsport Commission):

“There are some highly specific vocations in motorsport, but there is no reason why they shouldn’t be totally mixed. The aim of Women In Motorsport is to promote the fact that women have a real place in the sport. You immediately think of drivers because they clearly have the most visible role, but other careers are possible and even vital if a team wants to function smoothly and obtain results. I’m talking about engineers like Solenn, mechanics, sporting directors, communication directors… Women in Motorsport’s mission is to serve as a point of contact for young girls and women of all ages and horizons, provide them with information about the most appropriate courses for such or such a career, assist in finding internships with teams, or guide them if they want to take up karting or another discipline as a driver. The manufacturers have all committed to our cause, and teams and race programmes for ladies like Iron Lynx and Richard Mille Racing are already up and running.”

Women in Motorsport | Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (

Peugeot Sport WIM (2)

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