What's a Race Queen?

Part of the Pit Crew

Officially, the job of a race queen is to hold an umbrella over a driver while he's in the pit getting his car worked on (hence 'umbrella girl'). Over time, though, race queens have become models and, in some countries, an important part of a racing team's image.

Race Queens Around the World

Race queens are the most popular in Japan, where they often achieve idol status and can go on to new careers as models or actresses when their career track-side is done. You'll also see 'racing models' and 'pretties' in other parts of Asia, and 'grid girls' and 'pit girls' in Europe. You're not likely to see many in America, though; they've been almost entirely banned due to allegations of sexism and their outfits being considered safety hazards in the pit.

Those Outfits

One of the most fun things about race queens is the variety of dress designs you'll see track-side. Most involve team logos and/or colours, and many teams redesign their girls' outfits year to year.

Why Race Queens?

I originally began designing and drawing outfits as part of a series of 'good luck' pictures for a friend who took part in autocross races. Then, it was primarily fanart. Over time, though, I started enjoying studying and varying the designs. Another friend has worked as a race queen for several years, and so I've gotten a firsthand look at their work, their outfits, and their popularity in Japan. While they aren't always looked upon favourably in my country, I (and many others) find the concept and designs to be pretty and creative -- and hopefully this is a fun way for me to share them with you!