SENIOR PRINCIPAL, RACE ENGINEER
Leena Gade is a British race engineer who has served as a lead race engineer in the FIA World Endurance Championship and IndyCar race series. In 2011, she became the first female race engineer to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 2012, she won the FIA World Endurance Championship's 'Man of the Year' award and the C&R Racing Woman in Technology Award. She is also an Ambassador of the FIA Commission for Women in Motorsport.
Leena studied engineering at the University of Manchester and graduated with a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering in 1998. After university, she worked as a vehicle refinement engineer for jaguar cars for six and a half years. Meanwhile, she worked part-time as an engineer on racing teams in the Formula BMW, A1 Grand Prix, and GT racing classes. In 2006, she went to the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time as part of the Chamberlain Synergy Le Mans Prototypeteam. She went to work for Audi Sport Team Joest in 2007. In 2011, she became the first female race engineer to win at Le Mans, with drivers André Lotterer, Benoît Tréluyer and Marcel Fässler. She and her team won again in 2012 and 2014. In 2012, she moved to Germany, where she worked on developing new race cars for Audi in addition to being a race engineer. As the Audi LMP1 was closed in 2016, she left to work for Bentley Motorsport.
In 2018, she took the role as race engineer for James Hinchcliffe as part of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports's IndyCar program on the No. 5 car. Gade and the team parted ways after Hinchcliffe failed to qualify for the 2018 Indianapolis 500.
In 2019, Gade was hired by Canada's Multimatic to engineer the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P Daytona Prototype International (DPi) entry in the WeatherTech Sportscar Championship. Later that year, she was appointed president of the FIA GT Commission overseeing global grand tourer racing.
In 2021, through their partnership with Multimatic, Leena became McLaren Racing’s Senior Principal, Race Engineer McLaren Extreme E team for its inaugural entry into the 2022 season.