Joanne & Jure Off To Training Camp

from motorsportAustralia

Two young aspiring Australian drivers will get their chance to make a big step in their international motorsport journeys this week, as they participate in the 2023 FIA Girls on Track Rising Stars Program.

Joanne Ciconte and Jure Portelli were two of 16 young prodigies from around the world selected to take part in the program following a worldwide detection of all the most promising young talents between 12 and 16 years old.

As a result of being selected, the two Aussies will attend a special training camp at the Franciacorta Karting Track in Italy where they will be up against six other girls aged between 14 and 16 years in the Seniors program.

The Seniors program will see Ciconte, Portelli and the other six entrants complete a number of challenging tests both in and out of the car, with four to advance to the second stage, which will be held at Ferrari’s Fiorano racetrack in Maranello.

From there, the winner of the final four will be awarded with a place in the Ferrari Driver Academy for 2024, where they will run in an international Formula 4 Championship.

Last year, Alice Buckley made it through to the final four of the program, and although she did not prevail in her quest of winning a place in the FDA, both Ciconte and Portelli are keen to follow in her footsteps.

Both girls have solid experience behind the wheel having progressed through the Karting Australia ranks in the previous few years, as well as claiming good results along the way.

Jure Portelli

Portelli first started karting just two years ago and produced a number of impressive results last year, completing 40 races in  North Queensland – 20 of which she won – while also claiming a podium at the State Cup in Townsville and top five finishes in both the Tasmania State Series and the prestigious Oakleigh Junior Top Guns events.

The Queenslander may not have any car experience just yet, but with Formula 4 being the next stage, she was looking forward to participating in an event that has been her dream to compete in.

“This has been my goal since I started karting. We had been hoping for it for a long time and have been working towards it,” Portelli said.


“Even though everything is ready to go – it doesn’t feel real. I guess once you achieve your biggest dream, it doesn’t feel like it’s happening.

“We are just really excited for this – we even spoke with Alice about her experience and got advice, to which she gave me a few pointers, which was good.

“Alice has been a role model for me since joining, and I am hoping I can be successful like her and inspire other young girls to continue into the sport.

“I’d also like to thank both Karting Australia and Motorsport Australia for their support, because without them, this opportunity wouldn’t have come.”

Joanne Ciconte

As for Ciconte, the 14-year-old has an immense amount of experience in the sport having been karting since she was just nine.

In that time, she has competed in many events – many of which at her home kart club, Eastern Lions, where she is currently a class champion, as well picking up her fair share of wins and podiums at state level.

Earlier this year, Ciconte claimed more silverware by winning the Australian Pink Plate Ladies Championship, while recent testing in an Excel put her in good stead for the training camp.

“I am so excited for this opportunity and to what it may lead to in the future,” Ciconte said.

“To be up against some of the best young female talents from around the world is extremely cool and I am really looking forward to this opportunity and doing my best.

“It would mean the world to me to make it to the final four and race at Fiorano, let alone win the whole Girls on Track Rising Star Program and earn a spot in the Ferrari Driver Academy.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of many people around me, including my mentors – in particular Rohan Ambrose who has taught me so much over the journey.” 

The 2023 FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars program takes place at Franciacorta Circuit in Italy on 5-7 September.