The up-and-coming female drivers, all of whom had applied as a result of the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) campaign ‘Women in Motorsport’ initiated in 2009, had three days in which to demonstrate what they are made of on the track. The aim of the FIA campaign is to make it easier for women to get into professional motorsport. It focuses on nurturing up-and-coming drivers and on cooperation with organisations that promote the integration of talented women.
Volkswagen Motorsport has been supporting the campaign through the Scirocco R-Cup since 2010.
Volkswagen Motorsport and FIA joined forces to find an up-and-coming female driver for the forthcoming Scirocco R-Cup season. Twelve candidates from all over the world were given the opportunity to demonstrate what they are capable of in try-outs at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, with the top performer being given a free place in the 2014 Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup.
The promising young women got behind the wheel of a 285 hp Cup Scirocco for the try-outs, with instructors watching their every move. The exercises included a lead-and-follow session, a practice session and, of course, timed laps.
For the drivers to be able to hit the racetrack, they also have to go back to school. Together with the male candidates for the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup, the promising female drivers were given lessons in the theoretical side of motorsport. The timetable included vehicle tips, conduct on the racetrack and a brief media training session – after all, this one-make racing series, which will once again run as part of the DTM in 2014, can serve as a springboard for future careers in the higher racing categories.
The drivers have to be absolutely focused, because this is a tough talent school. After all, at the end of the day there can only be one new driver. Lucile Cypriano from France, Kaka Magno from Brazil, Alessandra Brena from Italy, Gosia Rdest from Poland – the candidates come from all over the world and have varying levels of experience in karting, touring cars or rallying.
The drivers were able to share their thoughts in between the various sessions: “How do you brake into the first corner? What do you do when the rear of the vehicle starts to get nervy? Where can you drive over the kerbs to save some time?”
The delighted winner of the competition was Lucile Cypriano of France, who put in an impressive performance in Oschersleben – even though she doesn’t have any experience in touring car sport. The 17-year-old schoolgirl impressed the instructors not only with her fast lap times, but also with her clean and smooth driving style. Lucile has a background in karting, which she has been involved in for the past ten years. She debuted in the French F4 Championship in 2013.
It goes without saying that the young French girl is thrilled to have secured a spot in the Scirocco R-Cup: “I’m absolutely delighted! The Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup is an excellent opportunity for me to develop and advance my motorsport career. I never thought I would actually get picked! Being one of the final four on the penultimate day was great in itself. I was up against some really tough competitors, especially as I don’t have any experience in the area of touring car sport. I hope I will be able to deliver a good result in 2014.”
There’s a very good chance that Lucile will do just that, because the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup is a good example of up-and-coming female drivers really being able to give their male counterparts a run for their money: Michelle Gatting of Denmark, who was likewise supported by the FIA in the 2012 season, achieved a fantastic fifth place overall in 2013. You can do it too, Lucile – show the men what you’re capable of!
Lucile and her opponents can look forward to an action-packed 2014: the new Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup season comprises ten races held in conjunction with the DTM. The event to be held in Moscow is a new addition, so the Moscow Raceway near Volokolamsk (80 kilometres from Moscow) is completely unknown territory for the drivers. The familiar long-standing tracks in Germany promise to deliver a lot of excitement too, not least because of the concept of the racing series: all the entrants are equipped with exactly the same materials, so it’s all about how talented they are. And thanks to the push-to-pass system, we can again look forward to lots of exciting overtaking and wheel-to-wheel duels in 2014.