Race day for the FIA Girls on Track - Rising Stars | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

Race day for the FIA Girls on Track - Rising Stars

15.10.20

The second day of the FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars Training Camp had a big focus on track competition under the scrutiny of Brazilian motor sport star, Felipe Massa, President of the FIA Karting Commission. 

The FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars Training Camp reached an even more competitive level today as the youngsters took to the track for their last opportunity to shine on the 1.0km Circuit Paul Ricard. This stage of the programme is still far from over, but for the girls it was a pivotal day to demonstrate how much they have learned and honed their driving skills since arriving at the Winfield Racing School four days’ ago. 

In the interest of fairness and transparency, the Pirelli tyres for each of the Praga karts were selected by lottery ahead of the first warm up sessions. The girls – combined as a group of 12 for the first time – then had just eight minutes of intense track time to secure a top position in qualifying before debriefs with their coaches helped identify further areas for improvement.

Later in the morning, the drivers were back on the track for the all-important five-lap Super Pole, intensifying the battle and ensuring the fight for pole position went down to the wire. The final 15-lap race rounded out the competitive action, which was scrutinised by Jury member and President of the FIA Karting Commission, Felipe Massa.

The Brazilian former Formula 1 and Formula E star, who began his career in karts at the age of eight, was impressed with the high standard of competition and the respect shown by the girls for the rules and traditional sporting values that underpin the sport.

Felipe Massa said: “First of all, I am very happy to be here. I think it is a very important event for the girls, to improve their skills, push them to a good level and teach them the right way. I am happy because I see a very high level here at Circuit Paul Ricard between the girls, with very small differences in terms of lap times. Definitely we need to analyse all the different details, not only the speed, but the consistency, the concentration and their behaviour on the track, but also the way they commit to every corner. We have to consider everything together.

“I’m very happy to see girls joining karting, it’s very important for karting and for the sport, for all the categories. Karting is a school, everything starts from here. It’s also a good step to understand that maybe these girls can do a very good job after karting. We have a very high level and it’s good for the future of the sport.”

While it may also have been an opportunity to meet a sporting hero –  especially for the two Brazilian youngsters in the final 12 –  individual interviews then conducted by Massa and the Training Camp Jury members were a challenging conclusion to the session.

During the afternoon, the girls were once again split into groups for workshop sessions and their first taste of a Formula 4 simulator. With the next Training Camp focused on F4 racing, the opportunity to learn about the cars and experience the difference between karts and single seaters was invaluable for the youngsters who will go through to the next phase of the programme.

The final day of the Training Camp takes place tomorrow (16 October). In accordance with the regulations of the FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars programme,  up to eight of the participants will be selected to move on to the second F4 Training Camp, also at the Circuit Paul Ricard, on 2-4 November.

Imagery from the FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars Training Camp can be downloaded here and news, information and videos of the action can be found on the FIA Women in Motorsport social media platforms.