Breaking lap records in F4 at 11 years, most kids don’t reach F4 until they’re 16, let alone crushing lap records – Juju Noda, a daughter of formaer F1 and Indycar driver Hideki Noda has been called a ‘racing prodigy’ at only 11.
She also just happens to be the youngest racing driver in Japan to have signed a professional racer contract with a sponsor. But Juju (pronounced ‘joo-joo’) cannot compete in official races until she turns 16-years-old.
Local race commentators are calling her talent exceptional with one motorsport writer saying she is a ‘once in a generation’ racer. Her goal? What else? Formula 1. “I want to win in Formula 1, and be the first girl to do it,” Juju says with no hesitation.
During a recent Formula 4 outing at Okayama International Ciruit, Juju managed to set a time of 1 minute 32.8 seconds in the F4 Under 17 category. She managed to beat the record time set by nearly a second. Her father hopes to move Juju to a Formula 3 race car by the end of 2017. Noda thinks that Juju has already mastered F4 and is ready to move to Formula 3, starting a new level of training. The higher speeds and increased G-forces in Formula 3 would entail more physical training on the young Juju.
Juju one day hopes of joining F1 and become the first female Formula 1 champion to do so. Once she turns 18-years old, she would be able to procure a ‘super license’ to be able to enter Formula 1. Throughout the years of Formula 1, only five women have ever raced in the prestigeous event. It is only Lella Lombardi who raced in the 70s, who managed to score championship points out of the five. For Juju however, that is not enough. She said wants to be the first female champion in open-wheel racing’s most elite series. We can only wish her luck in doing so.