The FDA Karting Scouting Camp gets underway, with the four Junior finalists Chiara Bättig, Maria Germano Neto, Ivanna Richards and Milla Sjöstrand starting a 5-day assessment program in Maranello and Franciacorta.
The 2021 FIA Women In Motorsport 'Girls On Track – Rising Star' program is about to come to its final stages. The first ever edition saw Maya Weug securing a spot on the 2021 Italian F4 championship grid with Iron Lynx/Iron Dames, becoming the first woman in the Ferrari Driver Academy. The FIA WIM Commission and FDA confirmed the project for another edition, aimed at rewarding another female talent with a season in F4 with the prestigious financial support of Ferrari - but the programme has now been extended to under 14 year-old drivers - effectively dividing the 2021 hopefuls into two categories. After a selection process that included karting and F4 runs at Circuit Paul Ricard, four finalists attended the training camp in Maranello, as they were assessed by Ferrari. Julia Ayoub, Laura Camps, Victoria Blokhina and Clarissa Dervic had the opportunity to run at the Fiorano facility with the Tatuus F4 car and received coaching from both FDA and Iron Dames, as they now await the results. At the same time, the Junior group (11-13 year old karting drivers) also underwent a selection process at Le Castellet. The four announced finalists were Chiara Bättig (11, from Switzerland), Maria Germano Neto (11, from Portugal), Ivanna Richards (13, from Mexico) and Milla Sjöstrand (13, from Sweden). The four up-and-coming talents are also in contention for a place in the prestigious FDA and the selected driver will receive a funded season in international karting – as the programme continues to target a wider and better funded participation at the base of the motorsport pyramid. “This year I am delighted that we and Ferrari have been able to provide this opportunity to our youngest racers” – said FIA WIM President Michéle Mouton. “Girls on Track – Rising Stars is about finding and nurturing talent and to be able to help these young drivers at such an early age further develop their skills in karting, the real grassroots level of the sport, is key to their future progression.” The finalists will attend the FDA Karting Scouting Camp, which is scheduled to get underway on November 25th until November 30th – starting from the Maranello headquarters with two days of off-track workshops. Mental evaluations will be followed by media activities and further training. Karting powerhouse Tony Kart has been selected as partner of the operation and the four girls will then visit the Italian manufacturer factory and have their seat-fitting ahead of the on-track assessments. “Karting is the preferred starting point for the youngest kids up to the age when they begin to think about becoming racing drivers." – commented Marco Matassa, Head of Ferrari Driver Academy. "That’s why the Ferrari Driver Academy immediately forged a link with Tony Kart as its expert partner." "This category of motorsport plays a key role in developing the ability of the youngest children and that’s why we welcome the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission’s idea of opening a Junior section of its Girls on Track – Rising Stars programme." The focus will switch to the track and drivers will travel to the Franciacorta circuit, in Northern Italy, where they will spend two more days of testing and coaching. "We will host a camp for the four finalists, which will give them a chance to show what they can do and then we can see if one of them deserves support from the FDA in realising their dream of becoming a racing driver" – continued Matassa. Following the FDA Karting Scouting Camp, dates of both the Junior and Senior announcements should be revealed.