Rising Stars Profile Vol.10 –Aada Turpeinen & Alexia Danielsson

FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars special series

In October, this year’s edition of FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars program conclueded the Shoot-Out and Training Camps stages. Four drivers in the Senior category went to Maranello for the Formula 4 Scouting Camp last week. Four drivers in the Junior category will embark on the FDA Kart Scouting Camp Two later this month.

Our Rising Stars profile series is still ongoing. Today, we give you Aada Turpeinen in the Senior category and Alexia Danielsson in the Junior category.

Aada Turpeinen

Aada Turpeinen is 14 years old from Finland. She currently competes in the Finnish Championship Karting SM in the OK class for Koski Motorsport as well as in IAME Series Finland in the X30 Senior class for SFN Motorsport.

Photos © Aada Turpeinen

Paddock Sorority (PS): Can you tell us about your first exposure to motorsport and how you started karting? How was your first experience in a go-kart?

Aada Turpeinen (AT): I was on a holiday trip with my family in Greece. I got to try an electric car with Italian boys. It felt good to beat the boys. When we returned to Finland the driving spark was hard to put out. I went for a ride on the indoor track but at the same time my dad started looking for a used go-kart.

PS: What made you decide you want a career as a professional driver?

AT: I love speed and motorsports. I’m happy to get a helmet on my head and race with the boys. I want to be a role model in this profession and encourage all girls to get involved in motorsports. Women can do as well in motorsports the men. In the future, women will be seen in the world of motorsport beyond the grid girls or podium girls.

PS: How are your family supporting you in your career?  

AT: My family is fully involved in this hobby. My parents are always with me and encouraging me on race days.

PS: Is there a racing idol for you? How have they impacted you and your racing?

AT: My absolute idol is Kimi Räikkönen. His journey into the F1 world was not easy. Everyone should read a book about Kimi. The Finnish boy, who left poor conditions, rose to the top of the world.

PS: From whom did you learn the most about racing and driving?

AT: My driving coach has been Axel Saarniala for several years, who is, for example, the RotaxMax Senior class world champion 2019.

Kaisa Eiristö was my mechanic last season. She is the best female go-kart driver in Finland.

Olli-Pekka Remes works as a personal trainer. My physical and endurance training is with him.

PS: What has been your best memory in your career so far?

AT: SM Lahti was a competition that was definitely remembered as the best competition. In Saturday’s Final I had a strong run fighting for third place with Tuukka Taponen.

PS: Has there been a very difficult time in your career? How did you get through it?

AT: In motorsport, women are not used to being seen at the wheel, but mainly on the depot side, but there are still successful female drivers. It’s unfortunate to hear comments that family is wasting their money when paying for a girl driver’s hobby. Many people think that the place of women is not on the track but in some other hobby.

PS: How are you juggling school work, training, and racing?

AT: I go to a language school and this makes studying more challenging. I do my homework after school and before the race trips I try to do them as much as possible in advance. My school and my teachers are flexible. My school performance is good.

PS: What are your strengths as a driver? If you want to keep going up the ladder, what do you need to still work on?

AT: I am a strong and determined driver. I have strong nerves and I don’t get nervous even in awkward situations.

PS: How did you prepare for the selection in October?

AT: I have trained a lot in different classes and I have kept my physical condition in good shape.


Alexia Danielsson

Alexia Danielsson is 12 years old from Sweden. Coming from a racing family, Alexia started karting at the age of 7. She currently competes in the Swedish MKR Championship in the Mini class and she is the overall runner-up in 2021 season which she just finished recently. Back in 2019, Alexia was also overall runner-up in the Swedish MKR Championship in the Micro class.

Photos © Alexia Danielsson

Paddock Sorority (PS): Can you tell us about your first exposure to motorsport and how you started karting? How was your first experience in a go-kart?

Alexia Danielsson (AD): Since my father has been racing all his life (Alexander “Alx” Danielsson, 2006 champion of Formula Renault 3.5), I grew up in the paddocks. So you could say I have been around motorsports my whole life. Legend has it, I went on my first passenger ride around a racing track when I was four weeks old. My first time in a kart came after I had been asking dad to try one. He bought an old junior kart together with a friend and me and his friends daughter got to try it at an old airfield. We then became friends and started racing together. I was 7 years old.

PS: What made you decide you want a career as a professional driver?

AD: Well, I am only 12 haha. I guess when I learned that hard practice pays off. I was nine and at the very end of the season, I wanted so much to have a good last race. I went testing eight times in two weeks at that track. Even driving at night with flashlights on the kart and helmet. That race was my first pole position. I learned that if I practice enough I have it in me to win. That triggered something I think.

PS: How are your family supporting you in your career?

AD: Luckily I get all the support I could hope for. Since I don’t have a driver’s license yet, I need a ride to the track as well as a mechanic etc. My dad helps me with all that. My mom is very supportive and holds down the fort while we are away racing. Most of the time she brings my kid brother to the track on race day so we can all be there together. I love it!

PS: What has been your best memory in your career so far?

AD: It’s hard to choose just one. There have been some really cool memories. Just this year I won a kart race with 49 drivers and got the lap record on that track, despite never having ever been to that track before race day. But actually getting picked to be a part of the FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars was the best day ever!

PS: Has there been a very difficult time in your career? How did you get through it?

AD: No, not really. I was hit once on a in lap after a race and flipped at high speed but it wasn’t a hard time, just a big crash. I am just out to learn as much as possible right now. Even setbacks are something to learn from. Just a couple of days ago I was hoping to take the championship lead in our big series over here, but when we put the new tires on in qualifying, I lost all grip for the whole day. It became a rescue mission to salvage what points I could. Those types of days happen sometimes and I think you can learn more from those than when you are winning. 

PS: How are you juggling school work, training, and racing?

AD: School is quite easy so far since I am young. We try really hard to minimize days away from school too. For example we have done hardly any practice on tracks far away before a race because that would mean taking days of school. I have a really good teacher that gives me all the assignments and I can do exams in advance on the days I have to be away. Other than that, all practice in the kart I do in the evening after school. 

PS: If you want to keep going up the ladder, what do you need to still work on as a driver?

AD: Regarding things I need to work on I would say maybe I get a bit too angry after a bad heat. I am really passionate about my sport so I don’t really know how to switch that off, you know? But I will work on it.

PS: How did you prepare for the selection in October?

AD: I did a lot of physical training and running as well as trying to do some laps in a big kart. But I am still racing my junior kart so it’s a little hard as I want to win the category I am in and finish off my junior karting career on a high. At the same time I knew that we will drive big karts in the shoot out so I would like to do more practice because of that of course! I have already got a formula license too, so I have started practicing in a single seater.

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