Rising Stars Profile Vol.14 – Chloe Grant & Tyra Sundberg

FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars special series

In 2020, FIA launched FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars program. Maya Weug came the first female driver to join Ferrari Driver Academy as a result of the Rising Stars selection. This year, the FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars program continues for a 3rd edition. 14 young women, 6 in the Senior Category and 8 in the Junior Category, went through the Shoot-out and Training Camp in August at the Circuit Paul Ricard. Four finalists from each category came out of the Shoot-out and will go into the Final at Maranello in November.

We are continuing with the profile series of drivers participating in the program. Today, we give you Chloe Grant, one of the Senior Category finalist, and Tyra Sundberg from the Junior Category.

Chloe Grant

Chloe Grant is 16 years old from the UK. She is one of the four Senior Category finalists in the 2022 FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars program. Chloe started karting at the age of seven. She won the Junior Saloon Car Championship (JSCC) Scholarship in 2021. Chloe is currently racing in the GB4 Championship with Laser Tools Racing.

Photos © Chloe Grant

Paddock Sorority (PS): What was your first exposure to motorsport and how did you start karting? How was your first experience in a go-kart?

Chloe Grant (CG): My older sister Lucy got into motorsport before I did. She saw the Ayrton Senna movie in the cinema and decided she wanted to do motorsport. She was already 14 or 15 at the time. I grew up watching her race and I wanted to start as well. I started two years after my sister. I was so young the first time I was in a go-kart, I was seven years old when I first ever drove. I don’t really remember. My first few years in karts were just for fun, but I’ve always loved what I have done.

PS: What made you decide to be a professional driver?

CG: As I progressed through the classes in karting, I ended up being in the front of the pack, and I started winning races and winning championships. That’s when you’re like, maybe there’s a bit more to this. My sister unfortunately stopped tracing, but she knows that she would rather support me through my career and watch me grow. I think when I moved up to junior max in karting is when I know that it was 100% what I wanted to do. There was nothing else I ever want to do.

PS: Besides your sister, is there a racing idol for you?

CG: The biggest person is obviously Ayrton Senna of all time. He got Lucy into racing. So he’s basically the reason that I went into motorsport. Our dad did actually raced before us. He never told us that, until we started racing. I think definitely Ayrton Senna is the biggest person I look up to.

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

CG: I had someone who helped me when I first got into motorsport, he’s been there for years for us. Then I moved up to a team called Cannon Motorsport. The team owner Ryan Cannon was my driver coach. He was tough love, but he was good. He made me the driver that I am today. He was absolutely brilliant. I currently have my coach Gordie Mutch and he’s unbelievable with how he tells me what to do and knows exactly why I need to change.

PS: You mentioned that your sister is no longer racing, but she’s still helping you. So besides that, how are your family supporting you?

CG: Unfortunately motorsport is quite a financial sport. Sponsors are our main form of getting money. My dad works so hard every single day to make sure that I can still do what I love. My mom finds it stressful. She comes occasionally to races, but she hasn’t been to one for a while now. She doesn’t really like watching. I do have another sister, Katie. She’s more into horse riding and now into gaming. She doesn’t she really come to the races that often, but she’s still supportive and always congratulates me.

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

CG: Winning a championship in karting are moments you can’t take away and unreal. I think it’s about the start of this year, we had no idea what we would race this year, and my mom and dad  told me that Laser Tools Racing are gonna be sponsoring me (in GB4) and I just burst into tears.  I was so grateful. It’s the same when I won the Junior Saloon Car Championship. It is a dream come true and I hope to keep it going every year, definitely.

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

CG: There’s been quite a lot, unfortunately, there’s more downs than there is ups. We found it quite a tough year this year with the car. I think the team are struggling because they’re used to Formula Ford. They’re trying to find the best way. Me and Logan, my teammate, had 2 days of testing in the car, and then the season starred. A lot of other people had a lot more time than we did. Since we’ve had less time to adjust, it’s been quite frustrating, to be honest. But I’m still so grateful for the opportunity that I’ve been given. I’m enjoying every single moment of it.

PS: Out of the four finalists, you’re one of the two that actually have some single-seater experience. Do you think that’ll give you some advantages in the final? What do you think are your strengths as a driver?

CG: I hope it does give me an advantage. I’m confident and I’m feeling excited. I think I need to prepare a lot harder for Maranello than I did for Paul Ricard. It’s the final, and the next is the Ferrari Drivers Academy. I’m a bit nervous whereas before I wasn’t. I just got to try my best to give it my all.

PS: How are you currently preparing for the final? Whats your training schedule like?

CG: I’m still driving my car and I need to stay in a single-seater to prepare myself. I think the most important thing is time in the seat. I’m also on my simulator for two hours or more every day. I’m in the gym quite often and going for runs, doing as much fitness as I possibly can. Luckily, this year I was able to leave school. I am going to college, but it’s going to be Motorsport UK’s course. They are very forgiving of any days you need to be away for racing.

PS: Could you share a bit about your experience in the shoot-out, what are your takeaways from those days?

CG: I learned so much. 321Perform gave us a book about what we need for mental, physical, and anything we need to do different. We learned about a lot about nutrition. The coaches of Winfield were really good. They told you to do something, and explained further on how to do it. It was an unbelievable week. We worked so hard. We were so tired at the end of it, but there were so much that we learned. We’re not just taking that to the final. We’re taking that to each and every one of our own races. It was brilliant.

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

CG: I know I still have some weaknesses that I need to work on. I think my biggest weakness is that if I make one mistake, rather than forgetting about the mistakes, it compromise my entire lap, There’s just a lot of things like that I need to be working on, but I know it’s possible to fix.


Tyra Sundberg

Tyra Sundberg is 12 years old from Sweden. She is one of the eight drivers who participated in the Junior Category shoot-out in the 2022 FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars program. Tyra started karting at the age of seven. She currently races in the OKJ category in the Swedish Championship as well as in the Mini60 category in WSK.

Photos © Tyra Sundberg

Paddock Sorority (PS): What was your first exposure to motorsport and how did you start karting? How was your first experience in a go-kart?

Tyra Sundberg (TS): My brother is a driver. Then I said to my parents, when I was six, I wanted to start too. At the time they said I was too young, I’ll start next year. And next year I started. Now I love it! My first time in a kart was really fun.

PS: What made you decide to be a professional driver?

TS: When I was seven or eight, I started to want to race more and do better, so I can be a better driver. It was fun to drive, and I want to learn. I want to driver more and be faster.

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

TS: My brother and my parents. My brother shows me the racing lines and my parents support me with everything. We have a race team in Sweden and Italy with 10 drivers. My mom is my coach and mechanic.

PS: Is your brother like a racing idol for you? Are there others?

TS: My brother and Charles Leclerc.

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

TS: One of my best memories is being selected to take part in the Girls on Track – Rising Stars shoot-out this year. All the times I got on the podium are nice as well, especially the one where I got P3 in my first OKJ race. Also when I got to compete in WSK in Italy was also one of my best memories.

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

TS: If my race does not go well, I might be too sad, but then I’ll push more in the next race to do better.

PS: What are your strengths as a driver?

TS: I can be fast and I can learn. I’m fast in the start of the race, and I’m also tough when I’m driving. I have this fighting spirit.

PS: What about things that you need to work on?

TS: I need to work on my racing lines, finding the apex on a new track.

PS: Could you share with us your current training schedule? What is a typical day like for you?

TS: On weekdays, I go to the gym before school four times in a week. After school, I go and train in a go-kart twice a week. On a race weekend, we’ll go to the track on Thursday. We put up our tent and start training for the weekend. I’ll take my homework with me when I miss school. I’ll do the homework between my trainings.

PS: Let’s talk about your experience in the shoot-out, what are your takeaways from those days?

TS: I learned to break harder and learned lines on that track, and how to find the lines when you do the track-walk. We all had a little notebook which we put down what we learn during the track-walk. I also made a lot of friends during the shoot-out.

PS: What’s your current plan for next year?

TS: This is currently my first year in OKJ. I’ll stay in OKJ next year to get more experience.

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