Winners of 2023 FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars Announced

After an extensive selection process, the winners of the 2023 FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars edition have been determined. Alba Hurup Larsen (Denmark) has won the Senior edition. FDA will monitor her progress next season on visits to Maranello. After an excellent demonstration both on and off the track, Vanesa Silkunaite (Lithuania) has won in the Junior category.

FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars is a collaboration between the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission and the Ferrari Driver Academy – with support from Iron Dames.
It seeks to detect and promote female racing talent. The programme’s fourth and last edition this year was the biggest yet, attracting a record 116 applications from drivers in 47 countries.
From there, eight Seniors (aged 14-16) and eight Juniors (12-14) progressed to a second-stage evaluation camp. Four drivers in each age bracket were then chosen to advance to the all-important final assessment held at the FDA’s headquarters in Maranello, Italy earlier this month.
The Seniors were put through their paces driving FIA Formula 4 cars at the iconic Fiorano circuit, while the Juniors stepped into Karting machinery at Franciacorta. Clear November skies yielded perfect track conditions, enabling the candidates to exhibit their full potential and supporting the judgments of the jury from the FIA and FDA.
The comprehensive assessment also consisted of indoor theory sessions. FIA CEO Natalie Robyn and FIA Women in Motorsport Commission President Deborah Mayer attended the final day of the Senior group and were delighted to engage with the candidates and observe the signs of a bright future for women in motorsport.
Once the Senior and Junior assessments were complete, the judging panel gathered to decide the winners from one of the strongest intakes the programme has seen.
After careful deliberation, two drivers were selected based on their demonstrated abilities on and off the track. The other six who took part in the final stage will continue to receive support and advice as they aim to forge careers in professional motorsport.
The FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars requires effective cooperation between key partners. The FDA has been integral to the success of the project since the start and has taken on board graduates including Maya Weug and Aurelia Nobels. Iron Dames, founded by FIA Women in Motorsport Commission President Deborah Mayer, provides a platform for female drivers to compete in high-level racing series.
The ACI Scuola Federale, which is the Italian motoring federation’s driving school, joined this year and provided its expertise in running theoretical and practical training courses. Finally, Pirelli supplied tyres throughout the event.
The FIA would like to thank these organisations for their committed involvement and for supporting the promotion of young female racing driver talent. It would also like to thank the drivers who took part in the FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars programme this year.
Natalie Robyn, FIA CEO: “I was very pleased to witness this pool of young talents in Maranello during my visit to FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars. We had the best track conditions, allowing the girls to display their full potential. This season established a record 116 applications from 47 countries, and I would like to thank Ferrari Driver Academy and Iron Dames for their continuous support in nurturing the drivers of tomorrow. I look forward to hearing many success stories in the future from our drivers that were engaged in this exciting programme.”
Deborah Mayer, FIA Women in Motorsport Commission President: Today marks a poignant milestone in the extraordinary journey of Girls on Track – Rising Stars that has not only shattered glass ceilings but has also fueled the dreams of young, ambitious female racers around the globe. Through this pioneering program, the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission has provided a platform for talented young female drivers to showcase their skills and determination in an arena still perceived as male dominated. With the support of our long-standing partners Ferrari Driver Academy and Iron Dames, we have played a major role in the emergence of a new generation of motor racing stars, some of whom have already become role models inspiring others to pursue their aspirations and never give up. To the young, talented winners of this edition Alba & Vanesa, I extend my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes for their budding careers. While this chapter may be concluding, the legacy of Girls on Track – Rising Stars will live on and we will ensure that the path it has blazed becomes a permanent feature in progress towards equality and diversity in our beloved sport.
Marco Matassa, Head of Ferrari Driver Academy: “We are very proud of what we have achieved over four years working with the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission through the Girls on Track – Rising Stars programme. We have played a part in making motorsport more accessible and we have provided opportunities for three young women, two of whom are still part of the Ferrari Driver Academy. We congratulate Alba on winning and along with Iron Dames, we will give her the opportunity to show what she can do in a Formula 4 car, while carefully monitoring her progress. Congratulations also to Vanesa, whose determination in the kart meant she got the better of some fierce competition. This enjoyable project has now come to an end, having helped to start the careers of Maya and Aurelia, who have a challenging and hopefully successful 2024 season ahead of them. We will continue to search for the best young drivers through our scouting programme, which evaluates boy and girls equally, based solely on their talent.”

Source : Fia