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Woman Spotlight Wednesday: Gabriela Jílková

Written by Sophie Harvey, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Image Credit: Racers Behind the Helmet

Women have played an influential role throughout the history of motor racing. Many have taken to the wheels of motorsport machines, while numerous figures have worked tirelessly on the sidelines in various roles, shaping the motor racing world to the present day. Woman Spotlight Wednesday aims to take a look at the tales of these superwomen, who have surpassed various hurdles to reach where they are today.

Today’s article delves into the ups and downs of a Czechian racing talent, who has pushed both GT4 and LMP3 machinery to their limits in the past. A common name in the sportscar scene, Gabriela Jílková has recently expanded her horizons to Formula E, as a rookie driver in the pre-season test with TAG Heuer Porsche — she’s someone to watch out for, that’s for sure.

Early Career

Jílková caught the racing bug after driving a rental kart near her childhood home, in Prague. She’d already made her single-seater debut by the time she turned 18, and over the next few years, she trialled plenty of championships with varying levels of success: A 9th place finish at the Hungaroring in Formula Renault, 6th in the 2014 ROK Senior Karting World Final, and two third-place finishes in the Superlight section of the 2013 Supercar Challenge at Assen, driving a Czechian Praga-Renault.

The lack of budget and an immobilising crash during a Clio Cup race at the Red Bull Ring, Austria, meant her career fell quiet way too soon; ultimately, the lack of results meant little investment from sponsors.

In 2019, Jílková joined the Gumpert RG Nathalie Race Project, an effort to produce a hydrogen-electric hybrid sports car that runs on a methanol power cell. Jílková’s role was to help develop the track edition, set to compete in the FIA approved Electric Production Car Series, a zero-emission GT championship. Unfortunately, the series was cancelled even before its inaugural season, due to a lack of financial backing.

Image Credit: W Series

For the young Czech, things could only get worse. Her trial for W Series proved unsuccessful, and she was left without a drive for multiple seasons. When COVID came along, Jílková turned to sim racing on gaming platform, Twitch — and it was here ‘QuickGabi’ was formed, as she is known on social media. Experiencing great success, she even founded her own sim racing academy.

GT3’s and GT4’s

Little did Jílková know, her big break was just around the corner. The Czech racer grasped the opportunity to race for Zakspeed in the GT Winter Series, hauling her Mercedes AMG GT3 into second and third place during the first three races at Portimao, before winning the next two rounds from pole position, crowning her GT Winter Series Champion of 2021.

Image Credit: Motorland Aragón

Her performance secured a seat with Zakspeed in a new championship, the 2021 ADAC GT4 Cup, a series based in Germany. Partnering Robert Haub, the pair achieved fifth place in the opening round, followed by a sixth and a third-place podium finish, scoring them enough points to end the championship in eighth position. The following year, Jílková and Haub improved to fourth in the championship, equalling their result in European GT4’s — a remarkable result in a season marred by technical issues

Fast forward to 2023, Jílková GT4 schedule consists of two separate campaigns: ADAC GT4 Germany, and FFSA GT4 France, and she is part of all-female lineups in both categories, and is a regular visitor to the podium-finishing positions.

Image Credit: Gruppe C Photography


In April 2023, it was announced that Jílková would make her LMP3 debut in collaboration with Van Ommen Racing, participating in the Prototype Cup Germany. Remarkably, Jílková scored a podium, before winning on what was only her third weekend of the series. Having picked up a five-second penalty, it was no easy feat - Jílková extended her lead to a whopping 9.974 seconds to secure her spot. Impressive, right?

Image Credit: Gruppe C Photography

Formula E

In October 2023, TAG Heuer Porsche announced the Czech racer’s participation in the pre-season rookie test at Valencia. This makes Jílková the first female to participate in a Formula E test session since Alice Powell drove for Envision Racing in 2020.

"Pascal Wehrlein and António Félix da Costa will be joined by Gabriela Jílková in Valencia" said Florian Modlinger, Team Principal of TAG Heuer Porsche, Formula E. "She has already supported us in the simulator, now we’re giving her the chance to show what she can do on the racetrack as well.”

It will be interesting to see how Jílková fares against the other drivers, many who possess more experience in single-seaters than her. Above everything, this opportunity will be a perfect chance for her to get accustomed to the thrill of electric racing, and learn from two Formula E veterans.

Image Credit: TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team

As arguably the busiest female driver, juggling two GT4 championships, LMP3 and now a Formula E rookie test, she proves to be an incredibly inspiring role model. Not only is Gabriela Jílková fast, she’s also breaking stereotypes one race at a time. We wish her the best of luck at the Formula E Rookie test, and in all her future endeavours — it certainly won't be the last time you hear of her!


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