Following three highly-charged days of action during the FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars programme at the Circuit Paul Ricard in the South of France, the junior’s selection has come to an end. Four talented young drivers have been chosen to progress to the final stage of the programme – at the renowned Ferrari Driver Academy in Maranello for the FIA-FDA Karting Scouting Camp. The senior category, meanwhile, continues until the end of the weekend.
For all eight juniors who participated, the three days at the famous Winfield Racing School have been a gruelling but enjoyable experience. On the final day the girls focused on track action during the morning, behind the wheel of go-karts supplied by Kart Republic. The juniors were put through their paces in a number of practice sessions, qualifying and super pole sessions, before the final race simulation providing some thrilling action as the talented youngsters battled for supremacy.
As well as the on-track competition, the juniors also took part in off-track workshops and tests focused on mental and physical activities delivered by 321 Perform. The programme also included a media awareness and training workshop under the watchful eye of Daniel Coen, FIA Vice President for Sport North America.
Following the final activities, programme judges including Rahel Frey, Iron Dames driver and winner of this year’s 24 Hours of Spa, Cathy Muller, former French racer and Manager of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission’s Detection Cell, and Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA), Winfield Racing School and 3,2,1 Perform representatives, meet to deliberate and select the junior finalists.
And though the decision was extremely close, eventually four juniors were selected to go forward to the Ferrari Driver Academy in November for the FIA-FDA Karting Scouting Camp. The lucky drivers are:
Lisa Billard, France
Zoe Florescu Potolea, Italy
Sara Mastui, Japan
Mathilda Paatz, Germany
For the six senior drivers, the programme continues Saturday and Sunday, with the activity largely focused on experiencing single-seater racing at the wheel of Formula 4 cars. The pressure will be on as they adapt to the FIA’s entry-level single-seater category and demonstrate their speed and ability to improve across the weekend.
On Saturday, programme partner Pirelli will deliver another crucial part of the girls’ progress, in a workshop focused on the significance of tyre management and the role tyres play in on-track success. The Italian tyre company has a long tradition of success in motor sport and in supporting, encouraging, and helping to develop young talent both on and off the track.
Sunday will feature a full race day programme on the 3.8-kilometre Circuit Paul Ricard before a final interview with the jury after which the senior drivers selected for the Ferrari final will be chosen and announced.
At the end of this selection process, the winning junior driver will participate in an International Karting season with the potential financial support of the Ferrari Driver Academy. For the selected senior driver, she will potentially become the third female to have the chance to join the Ferrari Driver Academy for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop a professional career in the sport, and compete in Formula 4 Italian Championship with the FIA Girls on Track main partner, the Iron Dames project.
Daniel Coen, FIA Vice President for Sport North America, said: “Spotting talent at an early age is fundamental to the development of the sport and becomes especially relevant when it comes to female talent. Rising Stars is an FIA programme dedicated to this important task”.
Info & Photos FIA WIM