The FIA World Endurance Championship, encompassing some of the greatest challenges in motor sport, and Swiss watchmaking brand Richard Mille have long pushed the boundaries of innovation and athleticism. This year they come together as the all-female Richard Mille Racing Team makes its first appearance in the so-called “high temple of endurance”, an occasion being celebrated with the launch of the limited-edition RM 07-01 Racing Red timepiece.
“The FIA World Endurance Championship is extremely demanding,” noted team member Tatiana Calderón. “We are all so grateful to Richard Mille and Signatech for trusting us and allowing us to compete with the best drivers in the world, such as one of my childhood idols, Juan Pablo Montoya. Some teams are particularly strong, but we will give it our all to fight at the front. We have all the potential and the tools to achieve this while continuing to learn step by step.”
Calderón, along with Beitske Visser and Sophia Flörsch, kicked off the Richard Mille Racing Team’s second-ever racing campaign in Belgium on April 26 at the storied Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The trio, who earned their spurs at the 2020 European Le Mans Series, debuted in the “Le Mans” Prototype 2 (LMP2) category with the technical support of Signatech.
“I’m looking forward to this FIA WEC programme with a fantastic team, a great car and some very formidable competition,” Flörsch said ahead of the inaugural race. “We want to do our best, starting in Spa. I’m looking forward to Spa even more because I’ve never competed there before. I’ve driven there, but this will actually be my first race on that circuit!”
The team were expected to be in good hands with Signatech, which has enjoyed great success on the famous “Toboggan of the Ardennes”, with a win in 2016 and podium finishes in 2018 and 2019. “We know this track quite well, even if things are now slightly different due to regulatory changes affecting significant areas, such as the aerodynamic configuration of the cars,” noted Signatech director Philippe Sinault. “This impact will be especially felt at Spa, but we are fortunate to have the same crew as last year. This gives us valuable and solid fundamentals that should enable us to keep our momentum going and consolidate our progress right from the first race of our second season.”
Calderón, Visser and Flörsch’s debut at Spa-Francorchamps wasn’t the only cause for celebration for sponsor Richard Mille. The watch brand also introduced a new sporty version of its emblematic RM 07-01. The RM 07-01 Racing Red, limited to 50 pieces, features all the attributes of the famous classic including the in-house Calibre CRMA2 automatic skeletonised movement.
Made of ultra-light materials with a curved case combining resistance and comfort in all circumstances, the RM 07-01 Racing Red takes its name from the signature scarlet hue of “Roxy”, the Oreca-Gibson #1 car driven by the female trio. The innovative red case is made of Carbon TPT and Quartz TPT, materials also used on the case band and dial that are critical to withstanding the shocks experienced in a race car cockpit – not to mention the twists and turns of the drivers’ everyday life off the track, making it a perfect companion throughout the FIA World Endurance Championship and beyond.