FIA women drivers’ assessment proves “burgeoning pool of quality”
Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen says that the FIA’s first-ever Women Drivers Assessment Programme proved the high level of female talent in the sport, and will form the basis for further development opportunities in future.
Kristensen, the FIA Drivers’ Commission president, oversaw the test – which was run over two days at the Navarra circuit in Spain – along with FIA Women in Motorsport Commission president Michele Mouton.
Fifteen drivers were assessed in identical Formula Renault 2.0 and Porsche Cayman GT4 machinery.
“The first Women Drivers Assessment Programme has been invaluable in providing us with the hard data to support what our detection activities have already revealed: there is a burgeoning pool of quality female drivers performing at a very high level and well prepared for progressing to major championships,” said Kristensen.
“We continue to evaluate the detailed results from the first assessment, but our technical and engineering experts were very impressed across the range of evaluation criteria and it was extremely rewarding to discuss the initial findings in the recent FIA Drivers’ Commission Meeting.
“This collaborative initiative with the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission will better inform the long-term strategy for developing opportunities for women in motorsport, for those already performing at an advanced level, but also in tailoring detection initiatives such as The Girls on Track Karting Challenge, through which we seek to inspire the next generation of young female drivers.”
The assessment brought together a wide variety of female drivers from around the world, including drivers from the European single-seater ladder, karting, sportscars, touring cars and stock cars.Thirteen different nationalities from four continents were represented.
The participants were...
- Amna Al Qubaisi (ARE) - FIA Italian F4 Championship
- Beitske Visser (NLD) - GT4 European Series
- Carmen Jorda (ESP) - Former Renault F1 development driver
- Christina Nielsen (DNK) - Le Mans 24 Hours / IMSA
- Gosia Rdest (POL) - GT4 European Series
- Jamie Chadwick (GBR) - British Formula 3 Championship
- Laura Kraihamer (AUT) - GT4 European Series / VLN and Nurburgring 24 Hours
- Lilou Wadoux (FRA) - Rencontres Peugeot Sport / 208 Racing Cup
- Marta Garcia (ESP) - Karting
- Michelle Gatting (DNK) - DST Danish Super Tourisme / Euro Nascar Series
- Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky (SWE) - STCC Sweden
- Natalie Decker (USA) - ARCA Racing Series
- Rahel Frey (CHE) - ADAC GT
- Sophia Floersch (DEU) - FIA Formula 3 European Championship
- Tatiana Calderon (COL) - GP3 Series
FIA-nominated technical and engineering specialists benchmarked the drivers’ performance relative to reference laps set by two professional drivers, evaluating against various criteria including overall speed, technical feedback and approach, response to setup changes, consistency and progression. Laptimes were not released.
Mouton added: “The Women in Motorsport Commission is continually pushing to create new opportunities for women in our championships and this assessment was important to put us in a stronger position with teams and manufacturers in the future.
“It was interesting that the drivers didn’t all know about each other, and also for them to see there is a pool of women at a very good level. The assessment was significant for many different reasons and the positive results were greeted with great optimism in the meeting of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission [which was held following the test, last week].
“I hope we have also further encouraged the drivers to be ambassadors for our cause, proudly wear our logo and communicate our values and mission, not just for themselves but as role models for the next generations too.”
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