LONDON, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- American Sarah Fisher will become the first woman to drive a Formula One car in 10 years when she makes a demonstration run in a McLaren-Mercedes at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Grand Prix circuit next week.
Fisher will drive the spare McLaren MP4-17, used as an additional car for regular drivers David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen on Sept. 27. The demonstration run is one of the events leading up to the U.S. Grand Prix, the penultimate round of the 2002 Formula One World Championship.
The last woman to drive an F1 car was Italian Giovanna Amati, who tried unsuccessfully to qualify for a race in 1992.
"I'm obviously very excited about driving a Formula One car in front of my home crowd," said Fisher, who visited the McLaren team headquarters for a seat fitting. "It's extremely rare to get a chance like this and I can't wait."
Fisher, 21, is in her third season in the Indy Racing League, driving for Dreyer and Reinbold Racing. She became the first woman to qualify on the pole in a major open-wheel championship last month when she set a track record of 221.390 miles per hour at the Belterra Casino Indy 300 in Kentucky.
Fisher finished eighth in Kentucky, but has a second- and third-place finish to her credit. She is the youngest and fastest woman ever to qualify for the Indy 500, averaging more than 229
miles per hour this year and starting from the ninth spot in 2001.
"Sarah has done a great job in the IRL and by achieving pole position at the Kentucky oval in August," said Norbert Haug, Vice President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport. "We are pleased to
support this initiative to further increase awareness of Formula One in America."
Fisher and McLaren are both sponsored by Tag Heuer.