She's holding the card, waving the race flag, or handing out the trophies with the accompanying bouquet. She's not participating in the sport (at least not on the front lines). She is, however, not wearing very much. In Japan, she's called a "Race Queen" and these girls are usually also some form of Idol. Their official job description is holding an umbrella for the driver but that's obviously not the only reason they are there.
Sex Sells, after all.
Similarly, many combat sports such as boxing and mixed martial arts have "ring girls" whose job it is to provide a bit of Fanservice between rounds. They usually will carry a poster-sized card signifying the round number.
Some see the presence of these women as problematic for a few reasons. Without entering that discussion, it should be worth noting that these women have a job, modeling, and that job takes a great deal of work that has to be done off-camera. Disparaging comments are unacceptable.
- Future GPX Cyber Formula:
- Asuka started out as one, who doubles as the acting owner of her team. Later in the series, Megumi and Satsuki takes up the Pit Girls role in the last 2 OVAs.
- Rena Yuuki from the games (including the Playstation game The New Challenger), who is the race queen for FICCY.
- Mirai Ozora has this role during a car race in Moldiver.
- The Hentai manga Koisuru Race Queen by Chataro.
- Hideyoshi Kinoshita of Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts is forced into this during a test battle he is not participating in. He tries to back out by pointing out that he isn't a girl, but this argument fails.
- Haruna of all people did the card holding and not wearing a whole lot during a "manliness tournament" (read: boxing match etc) in an episode of the anime of To Love-Ru. Lala accompanied her.
- An anonymous Pit Girl is in the first episode of Kill la Kill in the match between Ryuko and Takarada. Both rounds that the match lasts, she's quickly knocked out of the ring by Takarada.
- Bell and Urd occasionally do this in the racing-centric chapters of Oh My Goddess!. Urd more often than Bell — half the time Bell forgoes this in favor actually being one of the racers.
- In Soul Hunter, Youzen take the appearance of Dakki dressed as a race queen during a elephant race.
- The Rocky movies.
- In the first Rocky, the ring girl is dressed like the Statue of Liberty with silver makeup for the Bicentennial theme the champion Apollo Creed is promoting. A nice detail is her bound hair gets more unkempt as the fight (which most people didn't think would last three rounds) goes on for the entire fifteen.
- In Rocky II, for the rematch between Rocky and Apollo there are TWO ring girls, a black one and a white one wearing swimsuits, alternating each round.
- Snake Eyes: Rick Santoro (Nic Cage) flirts with one of these who's holding the card fo round #7 before the big fight. She calls him on his phone during a vital moment, unfortunately distracting him when the Secretary of Defense, who was seated near him, is assassinated by a sniper.
- In Holmes & Watson, a ring girl—dressed in Victorian lingerie—appears out of nowhere during the fight in the Hexagon. Lampshaded by Holmes:
"It's six in the morning! Where did she come from?"
- Inspector George Gently: A scantily-clad ring girl carries round cards between the rounds of the inter-constabulary boxing match at the start of "Gently Liberated".
- Valets are usually not this trope, although they may fall into it due to character neglect.
- Mexican wrestling fed CMLL has "Ring Girls" accompany all their wrestlers to the ring.
- WCW had the Nitro Girls, formed by Kimberly Page per the request of Eric Bischoff. Although some of them eventually started participating in angles late into the show's run, they primarily served as a dance team, coming out to the ring to dance for the crowd in attendance during commercial breaks.
- An example of Early Installment Weirdness, WWE Raw had "Raw Girls", attractive, young women usually donning one-piece bathing suits, who, like Ring Girls, would strut around the ring, usually during commercial breaks, carrying a card usually showing some sort of pun relating to the show's name.
- WWF's Godfather was, during the Attitude Era, accompanied by "Hos". Although they generally did nothing, it's an interesting trivia note that Victoria debuted as the ho that Right to Censor powerbombed through a table. In addition, another one of the hos was holder of the Hardcore Championship... for about a minute.
- All Elite Wrestling's Fyter Fest PPV had bikini girls on the stage during the pre-show as part of the show's beach party theme...which ended up being replaced with mannequins due to budget cuts, owing to the show's other theme of parodying the infamous Fyre Festival.
- NASCAR has Miss Sprint Cup. Three of them, and they're also an example of Blonde, Brunette, Redhead. They show up in Victory Lane, at the team shops after wins and on NASCAR Race Hub's "Ask Miss Sprint Cup" segment, where they pose fan questions to the drivers.
- They are (unofficially) forbidden from being in relationships with the drivers. When Jeff Gordon started dating a Miss Winston Cup (before the sponsorship change to Sprint), they kept the relationship secret until after her term ended at the end of the season.
- The show The Ultimate Fighter, which differs from many reality shows by being a purely athletic competition, will bring out a ring girl for the exhibition fights that the fighters take part in. Just like in boxing, their job is to provide some Fanservice and show the upcoming round. There will always be a few close-ups of the ring girl - especially her butt. See Male Gaze.
- Cycling races like the Tour de France have "podium girls" - pretty women in revealing dresses who kiss the winners on the cheek. Some races like the Vuelta a Espana and the Tour Down Under have dropped this as sexist.
- This is commonly featured in racing games.
- As well as the comedy boxing game, Facebreaker, which focuses on very Stripperifficly dressed round girls at the start of each round.
- Parodied in Wade Hixton's Counter Punch, where the round card is carried by Mona, a frumpy, clearly jaded bar waitress.
- Fight Night Round 3, at least, made sure to feature the ring girls between rounds. What's it mean when I got more entertainment from listening to the advice given to my boxer and his opponent?
- Monday Night Combat features one actually named Pit Girl. She also has elements of a Wrench Wench.
- Kiya carries the round cards during the boxing stage of MediEvil 2. Oddly, she wears more clothes than usual.
- Street Fighter managed to get by for 21 years without, but finally gave in, featuring them in one of the stages of Street Fighter IV alongside the usual round indicator.
- The King of Fighters '97 is the only game in the series to have card girls, for some reason.
- Crash Team Racing has four girls with parasols who present trophies to the winners of the races. They're not particularly dressed very skimpily, though they have Jiggle Physics. In Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled, they become Promoted to Playable.
- The Atari horseshoe game Shuuz has a bikini-clad girl crossing the pitch with round cards.
- Reiko Hinomoto of Rumble Roses says that working as a race queen is her day job, and her ring gear could easily pass for the sort of outfit usually worn by them.
- The Miami level of Hitman 2 takes place at a race track, so a few of them can be found around the level.
- Fallout 2 has card girls in the boxing matches in New Reno, but as they just use the generic female NPC sprite there's no actual fanservice.
- Xandir takes on this role at least once in Drawn Together.
- It was suggested that Kiva do this in one episode of Megas XLR due to the fact that the current round card girl was a squarish robot. In a bikini.
- On the Family Guy episode where Meg joins the school newspaper, Lois worries that if Meg doesn't get into Brown University, she'll end up as a pit girl for bum fights.
- A pit girl is featured in You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown. If memory serves, the winner was supposed to get a kiss from her. Weird, in that nobody in the cast of Peanuts is over 9. What Could Have Been if Peppermint Patty won...
- In Wakfu, the first Gobbowl 3-episode arc features various Fanservice Extras of this kind, like the bikini-clad cowgirls ridding gobbals, or the two "bunny girls" (their costumes close to that of a Playboy Bunny, but with two little horns instead of rabbit ears) flanking the announcer.
- Starfire performs this role in the Teen Titans Go! episode "Little Buddies"; holding up the round cards during the fight between Pain Bot and the other Titan companions.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "The Cutie Mark Chronicles," Fluttershy takes this role in the race between Rainbow Dash and a pair of bullies that teased the gangly young filly for her inability to clear a cloud at flight camp.
- The tradition goes back to the horse races of the ancient Rome, where the Pit Girl was traditionally a part of the prize.
- It disappeared for a long time in American automobile racing, where it was believed women in the pits was bad luck up through the early 1980s. However, it's been going on in European and East Asian countries for quite a while, where they're known as "Grid girls" and "Race Queens" respectively.
- Boxing and mixed martial arts shows have models who hold up cards indicating the next round number during the rest periods between rounds. They sometimes also are present for the discussions before and after fights.