Why Sara Cabrini made history with her inspirational eSC victory in Switzerland

02 Jun 2022

The 24-year-old Italian rider follows in the footsteps of great female racers as she takes victory for Helbiz Racing in round two of the 2022 eSkootr Championship.

When Sara Cabrini crossed the finish line on the streets of Sion on 28th May, she created a piece of racing history. She became the first female winner of the world’s inaugural micromobility series. As Sara jumped off her S1-X eSkootr, she was immediately surrounded by her Helbiz Racing team-mates and fellow riders who celebrated her incredible achievement.

The 24-year-old couldn’t hide her delight as she came through a series of competitive knockout heats to claim victory in the final and launched her bid to be the sport’s first-ever eSkootr world champion.  

Nestled in the Swiss Alps, the beautiful city of Sion was the setting for this historic occasion, with spectators lining a purpose-built course to enjoy a new era of micromobility. The eSkootr Championship is a revolutionary new electric-powered scooter series that enables male and female riders to compete together on-track with an equal footing.

No other racing category in the world has the gender balance of eSC, as women riders make up nearly half of the field. For that reason, Sara’s victory on the world stage will inspire a future generation of female athletes who want to showcase their abilities on a level-playing field.

Unlike much of the cost-prohibitive motorsport that exists today, this inclusive and competitive series is both fun and affordable. Thirty riders from diverse backgrounds around the world, race in 10 teams oncity circuits at speeds up to 100km/h.

The first two rounds of eSC were in London and Sion with four more taking place on the streets of cities in Europe and the USA. After impressing in pre-season testing, Sara’s speed and skill came to the fore at the first round in London, where she was the fastest woman competitor. After finishing second in her quarter-final, she was unlucky not to progress from her semi-final after a last-lap clash dropped her out of contention.

“Although Sion was a more difficult track than London, I knew I had the speed to compete with the fastest riders,” said Sara. “Working closely with my mechanic Gianluca, we were determined to find the best set-up for this track. Helbiz are a great team and the relationship between all of us is very special.”

As one of the first teams to commit to eSC, Helbiz are a world-leading manufacturer of micromobility transport. Founded in 2015 by Italian entrepreneur Salvatore Palella, the company produces three types of electric vehicles, including an industry leading e-scooter, which was the first of its kind to be introduced into Italy.

With that knowledge of the machinery, in combination with her talented team-mates Jordan Rand and Jamiel Guerchadi, Sara utilised the experience and know-how of her entire team to go one step better in the eSC’s second round.

Sara quickly adapted to the unique challenge of the Sion circuit and comfortably progressed through her quarter-final and semis. But in both heats, she was beaten by Marc Luna and the Spanish competitor started the final with three times as much boost as Sara. With just 12 seconds of extra power compared to Marc’s 40+ seconds, Sara was at a strategic disadvantage, but that ultimately made her victory even more impressive.

“When I finished the race in first position…. I had no words. It was incredible,” she said in the aftermath of the win. “I was tense and then Marc and I made contact at the end of the straight, but I said, ‘no,this time you don’t pass me!’”

On her slowing down lap, she stopped at every corner to celebrate with all the fans that had turned out to watch the day’s exciting contest.

“The atmosphere was incredible,” she said. “Personally, I have never experienced anything like this before. I was stopped by well-wishers so many times before I could make it back to the pits. This was so amazing.”

The win also delighted eSC co-founders Hrag Sarkissian, Lucas Di Grassi, Alex Wurz and Khalil Beschir who had envisioned a new sport where men and women could compete on an equal footing.

“From day one it was obvious this is a sport for females and males to compete against each other,” says Beschir. “From the start, we had both genders testing the eSkootrs and it was obvious they were as fast as each other.

“eSC is part of a bigger picture,” he adds. “Sport should be for all, and we want to provide the world's most accessible and inclusive racing championship with riders coming from all areas of society.

“We want everyone to have an equal opportunity to try our new sport and to aspire to be a future World Champion. With Sara’s victory in Sion, we’ve seen how inspiring her performance was. That should encourage more people from whatever gender or place in society to take part and compete in sport.”

Victory in round two puts the Italian rider fourth overall in the points standings just nine points off top spot with her home round to come next.

Racing Legends

With victory in Sion, Sara  joins a select group female motor racing legends...

Sara Cabrini

Born and raised in Florence, Sara demonstrated her speed and race craft in the Italian Dodici Pollici cup, racing mini-moto bikes before being signed to race in the Elf CIV Women's European Cup where she became rookie of the year in 2021. She joined the inaugural eSkootr Championship, impressing in the opening round in London as the fastest female rider before taking outright victory in the second round in Switzerland.

Michèle Mouton

WRC legend Michèle Mouton was the last woman driver to compete in the pinnacle of rallying and scored four victories in addition to finishing second in the Drivers’ Championship in 1982.

Danica Patrick

American racer Danica Patrick triumphed in both the IndyCar single-seater championship and in NASCAR. She is the only woman to win in IndyCar and set pole position at the showpiece Great American Race, the Daytona 500.

Simona de Silvestro

Another full-time IndyCar driver who has displayed great talent on the global stage is Swiss racing driver Simona de Silvestro. In addition to time spent testing in Formula 1, she also became the first full-time woman to compete and score points in the all-electric FIA Formula E World Championship.