Fourteen-year-old Lucile Cypriano, selected by representatives of the CIK-FIA and Women in Motorsport Commission to receive a funded drive in the 2011 CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy, made a very promising start in her debut outing in the series in Italy at the weekend, setting the fastest time in Qualifying Practice and starting the opening race on the front row of the grid.
During the three qualifying sessions on Saturday, Lucile set the track alight finishing two of the three heats in first position. In the other heat she qualified fourth, but a speeding infringement during the start procedure saw her drop to seventh. Starting the first of the two 13-lap races from second position, Lucile had a difficult start and later spun, resulting in her finishing in 13th position overall. In the second race – where grid position is determined according to the Race 1 classification – the highly-competitive action saw Lucile ultimately lose the rear bumper and be forced into retirement.
“The final result is not what I had hoped for, but I am happy I was competitive,” she said. “I learned a lot during the weekend and will do my best to improve. In addition to thanking my dad and mechanic, I really want to say a big thank you to Yvan (Muller), who took time to spend the day at the race track coaching me. His help during the test day was also very interesting and helpful and I know I can call him for advice at any time.”
Lucile, from Cheney in France, won this opportunity following a two-day shoot-out against eight other young karters vying for a drive in this low-cost educational formula for 13-15 year olds. In the opening round of the series, the youngster was pitted against 45 other international karters racing identical machinery around the new 1.6 kilometre circuit in Ortona, Italy.
The second round of the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy takes place in Essay, France, on 26-28 August.