FIA Girls on Track - Rising Stars Training Camp gets going for 12 aspiring young racers


Following the FIA Girls on Track - Rising Stars shoot-out, 12 selected girls are now embarking on the first three-day Training Camp at the Winfield Racing School.

The pressure is mounting within the FIA Girls on Track - Rising Stars programme at the Circuit Paul Ricard, as just 12 of the original 20 aspiring young female racers embark on their karting-based training camp. At the end of three days of intense selection for the 12 drivers of Training Camp 1, and in accordance with the regulations of the FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars programme, the jury will select up to eight girls on Friday to take part in Training Camp 2 which will start next month. After karting, it will be time to switch to Formula 4, the entry-level motor sport category for young drivers.

The FIA Girls on Track - Rising Stars programme, supported by the FIA Innovation Fund, aims to nurture the female racing talent of the future at the most critical phase of their development. Outright speed on the track is only part of the assessment process and the all-important workshops, physical and mental evaluations - coupled with evidence of on and off track progression during the coaching sessions - are helping to identify the best all-round talent to progress to the next phase of the programme.

This philosophy was also underlined in the awarding of prizes to two standout participants yesterday, neither of whom was selected for the first training camp but merited special recognition. South Africa’s Tyler Robinson, the youngest participant at just 12 years old and a very promising future talent, was awarded a seat supported by the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission in next year’s CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy, while Indian-born Aashi Hanspal received two paddock passes for a round of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship for demonstrating the most impressive level of progression during the two-day shoot-out.



Today, with the 12 girls split into two groups, the workshops were all about body and mind, to help highlight the value of an added advantage over the competition. Relentless training is part of the game and the importance of mental and physical preparation and regeneration, as well as the inevitable management of stress that comes with competition, were all key areas of discussion. Nutrition was a central focus to help the girls realise a peak level of fitness, and therefore performance. There was also a follow-up media training session.

Before any on-track sessions started, the girls all benefitted from an in-depth data debrief from yesterday’s full race simulation, helping them to analyse where improvements could be made on cornering, braking and overtaking. They could then put the lessons learned into practice with further hot laps and debriefing sessions with the Winfield Racing School coaches throughout the day.

Two of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission’s supported drivers have also been keeping a watchful eye on the youngsters as members of the Juries.

Michelle Gatting, who is part of the powerful Iron Dames crew contesting the European Le Mans Series, was keenly following the progress of the participants she jointly selected during the shoot-out. “Karts will always have a very special place in my heart, I drove them for 10 years and it was some of the best times of my career,” said Michelle, who has also claimed two ninth place finishes in their category at the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. “The winner of the FIA Girls on Track - Rising Stars will become part of the Ferrari Driver Academy and win a season in Formula 4; this is something I would have sacrificed an arm for if this kind of opportunity existed when I was in karts. It’s an incredible break for one of these young girls.”

Today, Beitske Visser joined the training camp Jury. The Dutch driver made her debut in the ELMS this season as part of the all-female crew of the Richard Mille Racing Team. She claimed sixth in LMP2 in her first race before going on to finish ninth in the category in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans in only her third outing with the team and first at Le Mans.

“It’s nice to see how focused the girls are and they all seem pretty quick on track,” she said. “I saw the lap times from yesterday and the progression some of them have made is good to see. Passion, commitment and determination are really important, you have to really want it because even if you have the talent, if you don’t work you’re never going to be there. You need to look for the girls with a lot of passion who are working hard and trying the things the instructors tell them. I would say to them, keep enjoying it, try not to put too much pressure on yourself because if you’re here, you’re obviously already good; just do what you know best.”

The second day of the training camp continues tomorrow (15 October) will a fully simulated race day programme for the 12 youngsters.