Stories of Women in Engineering - Evy Longépé - ALTEN Group

Stories of Women in Engineering – Evy Longépé

Interview with Evy Longépé

My name is Evy Longépé. I’m 26 and I’m a racecar driver as well as a Business Manager at ALTEN.

How did you get interested in automobiles?  

I’ve always been very competitive. I did fifteen years of horseback riding, four of them in competition, including a podium finish in the French championship. Then after Covid, I started following the Formula One and one day, I saw an opportunity through Formula Woman to become a driver. That’s how I started on the track. My first track day was just over two years ago, in December 2021. Once I got in the car, that was it. I realized that a single horsepower wasn’t enough and that there was no going back, I fell in love with this sport.  

To become a racecar driver, I started with track days on road cars, then I moved on to racing cars gradually building up confidence and expertise so that I can take on a car race. In addition to track time, I need to focus on training my cardiovascular endurance and upper body muscles to ensure I’m race-ready. Given the expense and limited availability of track time, I aim to maximize my progress during these sessions. Prior to a track day, I meticulously study onboard videos, analyzing racing lines and braking points. Recently, I’ve also incorporated simulator training at home to further refine my skills and enhance my performance on the track. 

What is your role at ALTEN? 

At ALTEN, I’m a Business Manager in the automotive sector. My job consists in developing an agency and revolving around three main axes. The first ones consist in recruiting a team of engineers and supporting them in their development throughout their careers, and the last one is more commercially oriented. I prospect new customers and maintain the existing commercial relationships. I’m lucky to be in charge of a large part of our sports automobile accounts. So, passion is also present on a daily basis in my job. 

What is your academic background and how has ALTEN helped you achieve a work-life balance? 

I have a degree in engineering from ESME Sudria. I worked for two years in the building sector before joining ALTEN, in 2022, in the automotive business unit.  

I’m lucky to be part of a team that supports me in my passion and that gives me a certain flexibility, for instance when I need to take a day off to go to race weekends. That’s a big plus I have at ALTEN, which I didn’t necessarily have in my previous jobs. It greatly simplifies the organization of my racing season. 

My directors allow me to work in a field I’m passionate about by entrusting me with our motorsport clients. Being able to meet and be surrounded by people who share the same passion every day, whether they’re customers or collaborators, is one of the best reasons to wake up in the morning and go to the office.  

Can you tell us a little bit about what ALTEN has helped you to achieve in pursuing your passion? 

Aside from being my employer, ALTEN has supported me as a sponsor. Few months after joining ALTEN, I discovered the “Our Employees Have Talent” campaign and I decided to participate. I was lucky enough to be selected. With ALTEN as my sponsor, I had the opportunity last November to do my first test on a prototype: the famous Radical SR3, that I will be driving at the end of the year for the Nations Cup. It was a truly magical experience and allowed me to start training for this important event. 

Tell us a bit more about what’s next for you? 

This year, I’ll be participating in the Mitjet 1300 championship alongside the Evo Sprint racing team. 

The championship consists of seven race weekends held at various circuits across France. Each weekend includes two qualification sessions and four 20-minute races, offering flexibility to compete in all or half of them. For this inaugural racing season, I’ll be taking part in half of the races each weekend. 

The Mitjet 1300 is an ideal sprint car, weighing in at 650 kilograms and boasting 150 horsepower. On high-speed circuits like Magny-Cours, speeds can reach up to 180 kilometers per hour. These cars feature a tubular chassis, and what’s unique is the ability to interchange front and rear fiberglass shells from different manufacturers like Aston Martin, Porsche, and Ferrari. Essentially, removing the shells reveals the chassis, driver compartment, and a Yamaha 1300 motorcycle engine. Overall, it’s an enjoyable and relatively accessible car to drive in a competitive championship that promises personal growth as a racing driver. 

In addition, I’ll be gearing up for the Nations Cup. Following my selection to represent France during the Formula Woman competition in the UK last winter, I’ve been chosen to compete in Dubai for this prestigious race scheduled for early December 2024. We’ll be piloting a Radical SR3, so I’ll need to prepare diligently as it’s a prototype with a different driving style compared to the cars I’m accustomed to. 

The Radical SR3 is an open racing car with significant aerodynamics, weighing 620 kilograms and packing up to 232 horsepower. 

To ensure I’m fully prepared for this transformative opportunity, I have several options to familiarize myself with the Radical, with potential training sessions in France, the UK, and Dubai. However, nothing is confirmed yet as I continue to seek sponsors to support my participation. 

In addition to this demanding schedule, I’ll seize any available opportunities and dedicate as much time as possible to both on and off-track training, aiming to represent France, ALTEN, and women in motorsport with pride. 

What’s the Nations Cup and what it feels like to race a car? 

The 2024 Formula Women Nations Cup is going to be a race reserved for women; each woman will represent her country. There will be 50 women in total and more than 26 countries represented. We’re going to be driving Radicals SR3, which at the end of the straight will reach around 200 KPH.  

Of course, it’s a risky sport so you need to be equipped: fireproof clothing, overalls, helmet, gloves and balaclava. And then, of course, you’re strapped into the car with a safety harness and the car has a tubular chassis to protect you in the case of rollovers. But once you’re in the car, it’s like being in your own little bubble, despite all the wind, vibrations and engine noise. It’s an extraordinary sensation. I wish everyone could try it once in their lives. Once you’re out on the track, it’s just you and the car and being a woman or a man doesn’t matter. That feeling of adrenalin, of speed, and the fact that if you want to give your best – there’s only one thing you can do, and that’s surpass yourself. It’s this aspect that really appeals to me and I want to keep pushing myself to get better every time. 

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