Interview: Freya Normann, Female Jnr Academy Driver

from FIA Karting’s Best of 2020 series

Very active in the promotion of women in motor sport, the Danish Federation (DASU) had the honour of seeing young driver Freya Normann selected to take part in the 11th edition of the FIA Karting Academy Trophy in 2020.

Starting the competition with very little experience, the 13-year-old driver learned much more than she could have imagined and finished the trophy with a remarkable performance.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF YOUR PARTICIPATION IN THE FIA KARTING ACADEMY TROPHY?

The progress I made in my country, Denmark, and the results I achieved allowed me to build my reputation. This is what prompted my ASN to propose my candidature to the “Women in Motor Sport” Commission. I was both proud and happy when I heard that I had been selected for this very popular international competition.

My debut was in the 2016 season when I was not yet 10 years old, my brother was also racing in karting and this made me want to try it out for myself.

HOW DID YOU EXPERIENCE YOUR DEBUT IN ADRIA AT THE FIA KARTING ACADEMY TROPHY, DURING THE FIRST COMPETITION OF THE SEASON?

I came from the Mini category and the transition at the wheel of an OK-Junior kart was obviously not easy. I took advantage of all the practice sessions and all the heats to improve and get closer to the times of the fastest.

In Adria, nothing was simple, it was my first competition outside my country. It was very hot and the track offered incredible grip with the Vega tyres. I had never experienced such conditions in Denmark, which made it difficult for me to use the equipment perfectly in these conditions.

In the end I finished 21st in the final, which was encouraging. In Genk, Belgium, I experienced some ups and downs. In the end, I finished 20th after starting 24th.

HOW WOULD YOU SUM UP YOUR FIRST PARTICIPATION IN THIS TROPHY?

It was really positive. The FIA Karting Academy Trophy is very educational, it is an ideal stage for a driver wishing to reach the highest level. The equipment is the same for everyone, so you have to keep questioning yourself until you manage to fight at the front of the field.

For my part, I lacked the experience to hope to get into the top 10, but I learned a lot and this was confirmed in Italy in Lonato. I was much more comfortable in the pack, in the wet as well as in the dry. For the first time, I was in the top 20, as I climbed back up to 19th place after starting 20th.

At the same time, I had the chance to be advised by Michelle Gatting, a very talented Danish driver. For example, she encouraged me to improve my physical condition.

HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR FUTURE?

The ideal for me would be to be able to participate in the FIA Karting Academy Trophy again in 2021, in order to apply everything I learned during the season. I had so much to assimilate!

At the same time, I would like to take part in other international competitions in OK-Junior to continue my training. To do this, we need to find partners. For the moment, I can only thank the “Women in Motor Sport” Commission for allowing me to take part in this trophy in 2020.

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