Juju Noda to race in EuroFormula Open
Former W Series Academy driver Juju Noda will step up to Euroformula Open for a full 2023 campaign with her own Noda Racing team.
Juju Noda is set to make another step forward in her racing career as she announces a full season entry in the upcoming Euroformula Open series.
Noda, 17, raced in W Series in 2022, where she became the youngest ever racer on the grid of the all-female championship and was named as one of the W Series Academy drivers.
Moving from the Formula Regional machinery to the Dallara 320 Euroformula, Noda has been carrying out a testing programme with her own Noda Racing team, which will also run her #10 car during the season.
Juju has been under the industry spotlight since the youngest age, as she first drove a F4 car at the age of 9 - and proceeded to start F3 testing at 13.
The daughter of Hideki Noda, former F1, Indycar and SuperGT driver, moved to Europe at 14, when she was first allowed to race in F4 in the Danish championship.
She claimed a victory at debut, and collected four more podiums and three pole positions in her rookie season. In a second Danish F4 campaign in 2020, Noda took some more podiums and two more wins over the course of the 17-race schedule, but also faced a few technical issues that slowed down her progress.
In 2022, Noda started to test Formula Regional machinery and was then selected for the collective tests of the all-female W Series championship, where she eventually was promoted to a race seat among the Academy team.
Juju scored points in Hungary, finishing ninth as a best result of the season in her rookie year at the wheel of the Tatuus T318 car. With two points to her tally, she was the highest-finishing rookie.
In the winter break, Noda switched to the Dallara chassis and prepared for her next step. She joined the Drexler Cup in Mugello in March, where she claimed a victory in race 2 - in a dominant performance that saw the Japanese driver finishing 20 seconds ahead of her closest rival.
With her Noda Racing team - which has a European base in Italy - Juju entered the Euroformula Open collective tests in Barcelona, and has now announced a full season entry for the 2023 season.
“This decision is a huge challenge and a big step in my career, I am looking forward to it" - Juju Noda said. "I know I will learn and improve so much by competing against superfast and experienced drivers."
"I just want to do my best, improve and have fun", she added. "It is very exciting news after my recent win at Mugello. I never give up, even when things are hard, that’s the spirit that led to last week’s victory. I would like to thank WSP, ZEXAVERSE, MIKIHOUSE and many other sponsors, fans, friends and family for giving me this opportunity. This year, I really feel things are going in the right direction.”
Noda is currently the sixth driver to join the championship, which proved to be one of the most propaedeutic feeder series in recent years. Graduates have traditionally transitioned well to FIA Formula 3 and FIA Formula 2, thanks to the fast Dallara 320 car.
“Juju will be up against a top-level team that enters six cars and has won 3 of the last 4 championships", commented Hideki Noda, who also manages Noda Racing.
"A real challenge for a small, one-car team like us, but Juju has already shown us in the past how she can go above and beyond and achieve the impossible."
Juju Noda will become the tenth female driver to race in the series organized by GT Sport. Since 2001, Maria de Villota, Ianina Zanazzi, Natacha Gachnang, Carmen Jordá, Vicky Piria, Michela Cerruti, Valeria Carballo, Tatiana Calderón and Vivien Keszthelyi competed in the F3-based championship.
"I would like to thank the many sponsors, fans, friends and family who support us this year, as well as GT Sport for assisting us in making this project possible", Hideki Noda continued. "It is a great pleasure for us to be able to compete in the Euroformula Open, which has produced many F1 and Indycar drivers.”
The 2023 Euroformula Open season features a eight-event calendar, including some of the most important racing venues in Europe. The season will kick-off at Portimao, Portugal, before the historic Grand Prix de Pau, on the spectacular street circuit. Spa Francorchamps, Hungaroring, Paul Ricard, Red Bull Ring and Monza will follow, with Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona hosting the season finale in October.
2023 EUROFORMULA OPEN CALENDAR
R1: Portimao, Portugal / 29-30 April
R2: Pau, France / 13-14 May
R3: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium / 27-28 May
R4: Hungaroring, Hungary / 17-18 June
R5: Le Castellet, France / 22-23 July
R6: Red Bull Ring, Austria / 9-10 September
R7: Monza, Italy / 23-24 September
R8: Barcelona, Spain / 21-22 October