Nine ahead of their time
Maria Teresa de Filippis
She started racing on a dare. It was 1949, and when two of her brothers bet the third that their sister couldn't drive fast, 22-year-old Maria Teresa de Filippis climbed into a Fiat 500, joined the starting grid for a 10-kilometer sprint along Italy's Amalfi Coast -- and won the race. Five years later, she placed second in the Italian sports car championship and promptly landed a job as a works driver with Maserati. In 1958, she earned a spot in the Belgian Grand Prix, becoming the first woman to race in Formula One. (She finished 10th.) "Up to that point, car racing was totally considered a male sport," Mario Andretti says. "For her to have the guts to break that ground, I give her an immense amount of credit." After four more F1 appearances, de Filippis was offered a spot on Porsche's team. But when a string of crashes killed several of her friends, including team leader Jean Behra, she turned her back on the track, not even returning as a spectator for nearly 20 years.