- *Falcón and Stratieva set for action in Rally2 and Rally4 cars respectively
- *Fernández battling to finish runner-up in the FIA European Rally Championship for Co-Drivers
- *Female co-drivers Blanco and Sánchez also in action on asphalt-based ERC finale
Emma Falcón and Ekaterina Stratieva will highlight the FIA Women in Motorsport movement, which encourages the participation of women in all aspects of the sport, when Rally Islas Canarias hosts the deciding round of the 2021 FIA European Rally Championship this week (November 18-20).
Along with Adrienn Vogel, from Hungary, and Italian Rachele Somaschini, Canary Islander Falcón and Bulgaria’s Stratieva are regulars on ERC events and will contest the asphalt-based finale in a Rally2-specification Citroën C3 and an Opel Corsa Rally4 respectively.
While Falcón followed Briton Catie Munnings and Italian Tamara Molinaro by winning the ERC Ladies’ Trophy in 2018, Stratieva took the award for a third time in 2019 when she edged out Nabila Tejpar, a British driver who stepped up to Rally2 level this season, in a final-round decider on Rally Hungary.
“This will be my fourth start on Rally Islas Canarias,” said Stratieva. “It is one of the best Tarmac races with lots of spectators but it’s not easy because it’s very specific. But it’s a very special event because it’s the first time I will drive a Rally4 car, so I don’t know exactly what to expect, although I am very excited by the opportunity.”
As well as a number of female drivers, several female co-drivers have achieved success in the ERC this season with Spain’s Sara Fernández battling her male counterpart Szymon Gospodarczyk, from Poland, for the honour of finishing runner-up in the FIA European Rally Championship for Co-drivers.
Jindřiška Žáková partnered her fellow Czech Erik Cais to several stage wins in 2021, while Tania Canton is Simone Campedelli’s guiding light during the Italian’s maiden ERC campaign with Team MRF Tyres.
Italy’s Virginia Lenzi was ever present as Andrea Mabellini secured the inaugural Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT, while Romanian Francesca Maior helped her brother Norbert take an ERC3 Junior podium finish.
Finn Enni Mälkönen helped Sami Pajari to an ERC3/ERC3 Junior win double on ORLEN 77th Rally Poland in June, when Lucie Baud from France guided Mathieu Franceschi to the runner-up spot.
Kateřina Janovská’s experience helped Czech Republic newcomer Daniel Polášek adapt to the rigours of ERC competition, while Georgia Ascalone, Silvia Gallotti, Karolína Jugasová, Ditte Kammersgaard, Anna Marís Kovács and Ivett Notheisz also co-drove on ERC events in 2021. Amelia Blanco and Alba Sánchez are set to join the list on Rally Islas Canarias.