8 March 2012
Last updated at 14:48
To mark International Women's Day and the 50th anniversary of the British Women Racing Drivers' Club, photographer Lara Platman has been shooting portraits of leading women racing drivers.
Desire Wilson is one of only five women to have competed in Formula 1, and in 1981 drove in the Tyrrell Ford South African Grand Prix. She is the only woman to win an F1 race of any kind, her victory coming at Brands Hatch in the short-lived British Aurora F1 series in 1980. As a result of this achievement, she has a grandstand at Brands Hatch named after her.
Alice Powell, 19, became the first woman in its 42-year history to win a Formula Renault Championship, and is hoping to step up to F1 in the future.
Gillian Goldsmith was a Ford works test driver in the 1970s and today races competitively at Silverstone, Spa Francorchamps, Monza, Goodwood and Le Mans.
Gail Hill is an NHS care home manager who competes in the Jaguar XJ-S Championship, achieving numerous class wins and podium finishes. In 2011 she ended the year as Class B winner and top Jaguar saloon driver.
Lorina McLoughlin started her motor racing career in the highly competitive Formula Ford Series. Moving into Formula 1 cars, she came first in class in the Historic Championship and now drives a Camel Benetton B192 once driven by Michael Schumacher.
Jessica Hawkins's first experience in a kart was in 2004 at Sandown Park, and her greatest achievement to date is victory in the 2008 ABkC "O" Plate event. She hopes to make the move to cars in 2013.
Lady Christabel Watson competed in her first race at Silverstone in June 1960 behind the wheel of a Mini. A year later, she crossed the line at Brands Hatch between Vic Elford and Steve McQueen.
Claudia Hurtgen is the works test driver for BMW and competes regularly in GT and historic race series. She began this season coming fourth in the 24-hour race in Dubai.
Sarah Reader started racing at the Caterham Academy in 2000. A year later, she entered the FIA Speed Euro Series, finishing fifth overall with one pole position and four podium finishes. Sarah also holds an ARDS Grade A Race Instructor licence as well as an HGV licence.
Shirley Monro is an historic racing car driver who races a Cooper Mk IV once owned by Stirling Moss.
Zoe Wenham (left) will be taking a step up in her career this year by moving to the British GT championship, racing a Ginetta G50. Louise Cook (right) is a British Female Rally Champion and in January this year competed in the Production World Rally Championship for the first time, achieving a podium finish. All photographs by Lara Platman/Photofeature.