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Juju Noda, 17, becomes 1st Japanese female driver to compete in Super Formula

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A 17-year-old racer is set to become the first Japanese woman and the youngest driver ever to compete in the prestigious Super Formula championship.

About Super Formula: Super Formula is the premier single-seater open-wheel motorsport championship in Japan. Considered the pinnacle of racing in the country, it is recognized as one of the top series in Asia as a whole. With a rich history dating back to the 1970s, the racing series has seen many legendary drivers compete, including Nigel Mansell, Eddie Irvine and Takuma Sato.

Breaking barriers: Juju Noda, daughter of former Formula One driver Hideki Noda, is set to break barriers after securing a spot as a driver for the TGM Grand Prix in the 2024 Japanese Super Formula Championship. Taking over the spot Riki Okusa occupied last year, Juju is set to drive the #53 Honda-powered SF23 in all nine Super Formula races for 2024.

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Baby driver: Juju's passion for racing has been nurtured at a very young age by her father's guidance and support. She honed her skills from karting at age 3 to formula cars at age 9 before she started to eventually make her mark in Formula 3 and Formula 4 circuits across Europe.

Road to Super Formula: Juju, who turns 18 on Feb.2, has swiftly risen through the ranks of international motorsport, highlighted by a stellar 2023 season. Last year, she clinched victories in the Euroformula Open and F2000 Formula Trophy, where she won the season title as the championship's first-ever female driver.

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According to TGM representative Kazuhiro Ikeda, they decided to recruit the young racer after seeing her performance in the Super Formula Preseason and Rookie Test last month.

"She has an amazing talent in the extraordinary sense of speed she has developed and has proved she belongs here," Ikeda was quoted as saying.

On promoting equality: Juju, whose ultimate goal is to become the first Japanese female Formula One champion, hopes her entry into Super Formula will bring gender equality in motorsport, according to Motorsport.

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“If we can create a Super Formula that is in line with the times, where issues such as a gender-equal society and gender issues are attracting attention in today's society, I believe it will lead to further development of domestic auto racing. I will do my best to become a good role model for female racing drivers.”

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