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An internship to identify future motorsport champions

For the third time, the International Automobile Federation has set up an internship for 14 young female drivers from around the world, in Le Castellet. This is a way of promoting women’s place in the still very masculine game.

They have been called motorsport’s “future seed of champions”. Classified into two groups, juniors and seniors, they are aged between 12 and 16 and come from all over the world. The FIA ​​(International Automobile Federation) has identified and pre-selected these fourteen young women with promising profiles to participate in “Girls on Track”. – Rising Stars

This is the third edition of this intensive assessment program aimed at “ To showcase young talent“explains the FIA. At the Paul Ricard circuit, intensive days of training, practice, competition, mental coaching and driving in karting for juniors and F4 for seniors take place from Wednesday 17 August to Sunday 21 August. .

At the end of this week, a jury present at Le Castellet will select 4 junior and 4 senior drivers, who will then participate in the decisive phase of the competition next November at Ferrari in Maranello to designate the winners of the 2022 edition.

With the aim of an international karting season and with the financial support of the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) for the junior winner. The senior winner will be able to join the FDA and participate in the Italian Formula 4 Championship.”She will be the third woman to join the FDA, following Maya Wegg and Laura Camps Torra, previous winners of the first two editions.” lists the International Automobile Federation.

This program is a way for the FIA ​​to ” To propel the careers of these young pilots. This is really the beginning of notoriety for themBut another objective is to promote women’s place in motorsport.

With “Girls On Track”. “We help them reach the highest level and we show them that it’s possible. It’s a virtuous circle, an awareness for many other girls who are interested in these sports. ” Attests Rachel Frey, racing driver and member of the commission in charge of women’s sport at the FIA.

The practice of motor sports remains very masculine and leaves little room for the inclusion of women. In France, the share of women in this sport is 13%, according to French Motorsport Federation (FFSA). Globally, the figures are even more alarming, with only 5% practicing it according to the FIA. And in formula 1, which is still a mixed game, their place has been non-existent for almost 30 years.

To remedy this and welcome more women into the sport, several initiatives are being taken. At the FIA, a commission in charge of women’s sports was created for this purpose in 2009.”During the 24 Hours of Le Mans, we set up a meeting between the sixty women present at the race, be it drivers, mechanics, various team members and members of the race committee.“Adds the federation. An initiative that will be replicated during an F1 race next autumn.

Aim? That they can meet and discuss to form a network of women in motor sports. Since 2019, the W Series, a car championship dedicated exclusively to women, has been created.

For two years I’ve been imagining things going on. We are 6 women at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year and we achieved great scores. We slowly impose ourselves and we take our place” explains pilot Rachel Frey.

The mindset even started to change according to the pilot. In the championship, she sees more and more women and not only drivers, but also mechanics and others who work in marketing.

And if many young drivers dream of F1, the holy grail for them, Rachel Frey hopes the road is still long: “Yes, there is still much to do! But we have to change the game and create opportunities for women.”

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