Thursday, 9 September 2010

Female Single-Seater Drivers Around the World: Italy

Alessandra Brena
Marika Diana now has her own post.

Mara Alno - raced junior single-seaters in Italy between 2009 and 2012. In 2009, she competed in Formula Gloria, in the Scouting Cup for young drivers. She was fourteenth overall, driving for her own team. She scored at least one podium place, a third at Mugello. In 2012, she was third overall in Formula Monza, driving a Renault-engined Mirage. In between, in 2010 at least, she seems to have done some Formula Libre racing in the Formula Racing Free series, still in Italy.

Rossana Ammirati - young Italian driver who usually races in single-seaters. She spent two seasons in Italian Formula Azzurra in 2006 and 2007, with midfield results. Previously, she raced in Formula Gloria and Formula Renault, still in Italy. In 2008, she took part in the Citroen C1 Cup and won at least one round, at Adria. She was third in the Cup overall. As well as the Cup, she also drove the C1 in the 2008 Race of Champions.

Alessia Belometti - raced single-seaters in Europe in 2006 and 2007. Supported by AP Motorsport, she began in Formula Junior 1600 in Italy, finishing sixth with one podium place. She then moved on to Formula Renault, in Belgium and at home in Italy for a winter series. In 2007, she continued with Formula Renault. The Swiss series, held around Europe, was her main focus, but she was only 25th overall. She did not do much better in the Italian Formula Renault 2000 summer or winter championships, and only did a few races in each. Later, she may have raced sportscars, and she was certainly linked to a drive in a Racing Box Dodge Viper.

Alessandra Brena - began her senior racing career in Italy in 2011, at the age of fifteen. She drove in Formula Abarth, mainly concentrating on the Italian championship. Her best finish seems to have been eleventh, at Misano. Unfortunately, she was unable to complete the season, due to an injury sustained during a race. She also drove in two European championship events, also at Misano. In 2012, she drove in the Green Scout Cup for alternative-fuel vehicles, in a Kia. She won at least one race. She continued with alternative fuels in 2013, keeping the Kia. In it, she won one race of the BRC Green Hybrid Cup, and also the championship. As well as hybrids, she raced more traditional vehicles, including a Ginetta G50 and a Lamborghini Gallardo, which she used in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo. She was thirteenth in the championship. In 2014, she raced the Ginetta again, in a couple of rounds of the European GT4 Challenge. She was thirteenth and fifteenth at Misano. In 2015, she did some rounds of the Germanol Adria Race Cup, in a Renault Twingo, as well as entering some Italian rallies, in a Peugeot 208. Her best result in the Renault seems to have been a fifth place. She won the Coupe des Dames in the Rally Due Valli, and was 28th overall. In 2016, she rallied the Peugeot in the Franciacorta Rally Show, and was 32nd overall. A return to the circuits in 2017 took the form of the Italian TCS Touring Car Championship. She was third overall, winning twice. Previously, she raced karts, having begun at eight years old.

Michela Capella – mostly known for karting, but has done some racing in cars. In 2007 and 2008, she competed in Formula Junior in Italy. During her second season, she was racing against her father, Andrea. They were driving for different teams. She was a competent driver, who was more than capable of top ten finishes. After 2008, she returned to karting for at least one season.

Marinella Meloni – entered the Italian Formula Three Championship in 1988, driving a Volkswagen-engined Ralt. She was part of the BVM team, with Walter Meloni, and entered seven rounds. Sadly, she did not qualify for any of them. Walter Meloni managed one qualification. Later, in 1992, she raced in the Renault Clio Cup in Italy, but was only 26th overall. Little more information seems to exist about Marinella. 

Elena Missaglia - former karter who raced in Formula Junior, Formula Renault, Formula Monza and Formula Azzurra between 2005 and 2008. Her best result was in Formula Junior in 2005, when she won a race at Monza and finished the year second in the championship. Her other results yielded decent class finishes, although she appears to have struggled for funding and not completed seasons. She returned to karting as a senior, and won some endurance events in 2008.

Patricia Motta – raced in junior single-seater formulae in Italy, in the late 1970s. She took part in the Formula Junior Monza championship in 1978, and was eighth, in a Madis. She scored one podium place. She also competed in Formula Italia at some point, and is said to have won some races. Little information is available about Patricia.  

Alessandra Neri - recent gradute to full-size car competition in Italy. She raced in Formula Azzurra in 2007, with some top-ten finishes and one podium position. She was eighth overall. Previously, in 2006, she combined Formula Azzurra competition with saloon racing in the Trofeo Kia Rio. In 2008 she campaigned a Ferrari 430 GT in European GTs, winning the GT3 class four times and placing continuously in the top three of the class. Her best overall result was fourth at Adria, although she was a consistent top-ten finisher throughout the year. 2009 was a quieter year, with only a couple of rounds of the Spanish GT Championship, driving a Porsche GT3 RSR. The Valencia races yielded a seventh and eighth place. In 2010, she returned to Italy for the Superstars GTSprint and was ninth overall, after several top tens. Her car was a Ferrari 430, which she used again in 2011. She only entered four races, and managed a best result of eleventh, at Portimao. In addition, she drove in two rounds of the Maserati Trofeo. In 2012, she took part in the last four rounds of the Italian GT Championship, driving a McLaren MP4-12C. She scored two eighth and two ninth places. She is now involved in media work, and may have done some rallying in 2015. In 2016, she carried on as a TV reporter, even broadcasting live from her car. She made some guest appearances in the TCR International Series, driving a SEAT Leon. Her best finish was tenth, at Imola.

Laura Polidori - has raced single-seaters since the age of seventeen, mostly Formula Renault. She began with a part-season in 2005, in the Italian championship. After a break, she moved to the Swiss series in 2007, and scored a few points. It was back to Italy for Formula Light 2000 in 2008, and she was rewarded with tenth overall, with six top-tens out of ten races. Remaining with Formula Light in 2009, she scored her first podium in the Opening series, a third at Magione. Her best finish in the main championship is eighth, at the same track, and she was tenth overall. In 2010, she returned to Formula Renault in Italy. She was fifteenth overall and has four top-tens to her name, with a best of eighth at Mugello. Unfortunately, she only competed in two races in 2011, still in Italian Formula Renault.

Giada de Zen - began senior racing in 2010, aged just fourteen, after several years of karting. She competed in the 1600cc F4 Eurocup in Europe, run out of France where she was able to get a licence. Her best finish was eleventh, at Hockenheim. She was unplaced in the championship. In 2011, she moved up to Formula Renault and contested the Alpine series, for two-litre cars. She was 19th overall, with a best finish of sixth in the first round, at Monza. She also made some guest appearances in the VdeV Single-Seater Challenge in France, driving a Formula Renault. In 2012, she tested for the Formula Renault Eurocup, and attempted to put together sponsorship to race in this series. However, she ended up in Formula Abarth in 2013, after a year out. She drove in six races, but only finished two of them the best being a fifth at Mugello. She was fourteenth overall.

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