12-YEAR-OLD JUJU NODA STEALS THE SHOW AT OKAYAMA TESTS
The teams and drivers of the Autobacs Super GT Series may have been busy at work testing their cars at Okayama International Circuit this past week, but even by their own admission, they will admit that another runner on the circuit has gripped the attention of the racing world.
In between the morning and afternoon sessions on Wednesday, second-generation racer Juju Noda – who is just twelve, count it, twelve years old!!! – took her first laps in a 2012 Dallara Formula 3 car. It was impressive enough not only to capture the imagination of the Super GT drivers, but also that of motorsports fans around the world.
Juju Noda is the daughter of former Super GT and Formula 1 driver Hideki Noda, who is also a championship-winning team director and manager of his own driving academy.
In an interview with Forbes contributor Peter Lyon from June 2017, Noda commented: “I teach her the finer points of racing, but she just has so much raw, natural talent. Dare I say, much more than I ever did.”
“She has the ability to feel the limits of her race car, and the adhesion limits of the tyres. That’s critical and it’s not something you can teach someone. She was born with it. When Juju feels that she’s on the limit, she will back off but still stay focused and relaxed and fast.”