2022 FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars winners revealed   | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

2022 FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars winners revealed  

01.12.22

After months of intense testing, training and competition, the winners of the third edition of the FIA Girls on Track talent detection programme have now been revealed, with 15-year-old Belgian Aurelia Nobels winning the Senior category and 13-year-old Romanian Zoe Florescu Potolea emerging victorious in the Junior category following the final round of assessment at the famed Ferrari Driver Academy in Maranello. 

FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars is an innovative programme launched by the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission to detect and nurture young female racing talents of between 12 and 16 years old who merit support as they strive to forge a career in motor sport. 

As with the first two programmes, the third edition of Rising Stars exceeded expectations, uncovering a host of young female driving talent over the course of its multiple stages. Following selections held by 146 FIA-affiliated national sporting authorities, 16 girls were chosen to attend training camps at the Paul Ricard Circuit where four finalists in the junior and senior categories made it through to the grand final in Maranello.

After four days of on- and off-track assessment at the Ferrari Driver Academy, Aurelia Nobels (photo above) was voted the winner of the Senior Category for girls born between January 1, 2006, and March 31, 2008.  Aurelia will now be offered the unique opportunity to join the Ferrari Driver Academy and compete in Formula 4 with the Iron Dames, a major step forward in her young career. She becomes the third female member of the FDA following Maya Weug and Laura Camps Torras, winners of the first two editions of Rising Stars. Reacting to her victory, Aurelia said: “I have no words to describe what I am feeling right now. I am very grateful to the FIA, the Ferrari Driver Academy and the Iron Dames for this amazing opportunity. I have definitely learnt a lot and I cannot wait to start the season.”

 

 

 

Zoe Florescu Potolea (photo above) has been named winner of the Junior category, which was launched last year as an extension to the original four-year programme. Following the success of Portuguese Maria Germano Nato in 2021, Zoe will now take her place in the 2023 OK Junior Karting Championship as a member of the Tony Kart team, supported by the Ferrari Driver Academy. After the announcement of her victory, Zoe said: “Honestly I can’t believe it. It has been an awesome experience throughout the programme in Paul Ricard and in Franciacorta. I will give my best to honour this opportunity. Thank you so much to all who make it possible.”


FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said: “I offer my sincere congratulations to Aurelia Nobels and Zoe Florescu Potolea as the 2022 FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars. With this success, they now have a fantastic opportunity to develop a career in motor sport. As we look forward to seeing the progress of these two exciting young female drivers, I also want to thank the Ferrari Driver Academy and The Iron Dames for their partnership in the success of this pioneering initiative. The fact that young female talents around the world are being recognised and supported is a very positive sign. The FIA is at the forefront of change when it comes to diversity, and initiatives such as Girls on Track – Rising Stars are a major part of our goal to greatly increase motor sport participation in the coming years by encouraging and supporting under-represented sections of society.”

FIA Women in Motorsport Commission President Deborah Mayer said: “I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Aurelia and Zoe for this important victory. Both impressed us with their talent, determination, and ability to progress during this thrilling finale. I am proud that our programme provides them with an opportunity to pursue their dream of a career in motor sport. As part of the Ferrari Driver Academy, with the support of Iron Dames, Aurelia has the best possible opportunity to try to reach the top levels of our sport. The same goes for Zoe, who will be able to count on the support of the FDA and will race for Tony Kart. I would also like to salute all the other participants who embarked on this journey. I hope their experience over the past months inspires them to keep working and to keep racing. Hold onto your passion and give it your all, you will get your chance again.”

Scuderia Ferrari Racing Director Laurent Mekiès said: “We are very pleased to welcome Aurelia to the Ferrari Driver Academy, whose win in the third edition of the FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars is richly deserved. Her joining our young driver programme also confirms how much Scuderia Ferrari and the FIA share a vision of motorsport open to everyone, irrespective of gender, nationality, or financial resources. We hope Aurelia can follow the same path as Maya Weug, the first winner of this initiative who, over the past two years, has progressed to a level where she has been a regular points scorer in the Italian Formula 4 series and is now moving up with the FDA to the European Formula Regional championship. Our congratulations also to Zoe, who was the most outstanding performer at the Franciacorta test in the Junior category and who will now be racing in Karts with support from ourselves and long-term Academy partner Tony Kart. Ferrari does a lot to promote FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars, as we consider it an integral part of our global scouting programme in which, every year, along with our partners, we choose the most talented youngsters from around the world. We are keen to see Aurelia pass through the doors of the Academy and we wish her the very best of luck.”

Head of Ferrari Driver Academy Marco Matassa said: “Aurelia immediately stood out in the way she managed the various stages of the programme in this edition of FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars, confirming behind the wheel the skills she had already shown during the physical and attitudinal tests. She beat three very competent opponents, immediately getting to grips with the Formula 4 car, a key category for a budding driver. Here at the Ferrari Driver Academy, we are ready to support her and ensure she is well prepared for the Italian series which is a unique test for the most promising youngsters. Welcome to the Academy, Aurelia, we are set to have a great time together. Well done also to Zoe, whom we will follow closely in her season racing with Tony Kart.” 

The third edition of the FIA ​​Girls on Track – Rising Stars programme has now ended but registrations for the fourth will open soon. 

Find out the photos of the third edition HERE