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WIM – The Girls on Track Karting Challenge; ready for action!

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The 27 finalists from the FIA’s European Young Women Programme - the Girls on Track Karting Challenge - have now convened at Le Mans and are poised for an exciting weekend of on and off track activities that could well kick-start a career in motor sport.

From national selections, three promising racers between 13-18 years of age who come from nine European countries have been chosen from hundreds of girls as the best all-round talent to compete in this European Final. Now, the 27 finalists will pit themselves against one another in the hope of securing one of six places in the European Team, which will attend Driver Training Camps and be supported by the FIA through a sporting and educational programme.

Three long and intense days lay in wait for the finalists from Belgium, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. This afternoon, the young women were welcomed to the FFSA Academy, home to the CIK Le Mans track, where they underwent a briefing, tour of the renowned Academy and a walk round the track where they will be competing. Competition numbers between 1 to 27 were assigned and the finalists were finally united with their karts, undergoing any necessary seat fittings and adjustments. A random draw of Yokohama tyres will also be personally allocated to each of the finalists for the weekend.

The scene is now set for the start of one of the most significant projects organised by the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission. One year since its launch at the Geneva Motor Show, the subsequent journey has taken the FIA’s young women programme to nine European countries through partnerships with its National Sporting Authorities in Belgium, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Benefitting from EU funding through the Erasmus+ programme, it has enabled the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission to implement a competition model for the promotion and development of young women in motor sport at grassroots level. The programme also aims to contribute to the advancement of the FIA’s educational and social roles, and support its national sporting authorities with their motor sport growth as each strive to raise awareness of gender equality and increase the participation of women in the sport.

In addition, the project has been academically partnered by CDES-PROGESPORT at the University of Limoges (the Centre for the Law and Economics of Sport), which will deliver a crucial aspect of the project. A sociological analysis by CDES will support and analyse the success of the programme and make recommendations to the sport’s stakeholders on how to increase their level of female participation and help fight gender stereotypes. This report will become the reference document for the project.

During the autumn of 2019, the FIA will organise its final event, report on the outcomes of the project to the European Institutions’ officials in Brussels, and host a spectacular karting demonstration involving the European Team selected during the final.

Find more pictures here.