Monday, 12 October 2015

Rosadele Facetti

Rosadele Facetti in 1969

Rosadele Facetti was an Italian driver who raced in Formula 3 in the late 1960s.

Rosadele had the advantage of being born into a motor-racing family. Her father, Piero, had worked as a racing mechanic in the early days of Formula One, for the likes of Alberto Ascari and Piero Taruffi. Her two brothers, Giuliano and Carlo, also raced. (Carlo went on to be very successful.) Rosadele and Carlo sometimes raced together, and against each other.

References are made to her having begun her career in 1962, in touring cars. The Facetti family was often associated with Lancia cars, so her first car may well have been one of them. However, her age seems to suggest that she was not active until somewhat later, as she is described as being only twenty years old in 1966, in other sources. The results of any touring car championship held in the early 1960s in Italy are not forthcoming. In 1965, her name starts to appear in the entry lists for hillclimbs. In 1965, she was ninth overall in the Malegno-Borno climb, driving a Lancia Fulvia, just two-and-a-half seconds below her brother, Giuliano, in an Alfa Romeo. She won the class for 1150cc touring cars. The same year, she is also pictured taking part in the Sarezzo-Lumezzane hillclimb. She won the first of two consecutive Italian women’s championships that year.

The family received delivery of a Lancia Fulvia 2C in 1966, which was raced that year by Rosadele. She was active once more in hillclimbs, and is recorded as having finished fourth in class in the Coppa Teodori.

In 1967, she made her first major international appearance, and her first races in a formula car. Her brother, Carlo, had become involved with Tecno single-seaters the previous season, and in 1967, they both drove Tecno TF/66s for Scuderia Madunina. Their racing schedule included the Argentine Formula 3 championship. Rosadele was 20th in her first race at Mar del Plata, but during the second, was involved in a serious accident in which spectators were killed. She was not badly injured herself, but played no further role in the championship.

The accident at Mar del Plata must have been quite traumatic for her, but she did not give up, and rarely, if ever, spoke about it to the press. In 1968, she went back to driving Lancia GT cars, and entered the Targa Florio. She and Pat Moss were sharing a Lancia Fulvia HF. The two women, both from motoring families and with famous racing brothers, got on very well. Rosadele later spoke about her esteem for Pat, who shared some of her driving tips and tricks. They were 19th overall and ninth in class.

Rosadele was less visible in 1969, although she carried on competing in a Fulvia, often in hillclimbs. This continued into 1970, when she won her class in the La Castellana-Orvieto climb and the Coppa Teodori.

In 1971, she entered the Italian Group 4 championship, driving a 1300cc Fulvia. She was eleventh in the Trieste-Opicina hillclimb and 21st in the Trento-Bondone climb. She entered the Cesana-Sestriere event, but did not finish. In a rare circuit outing, she was third in the Lombardi AC Trophy 1300 race, at Monza, at the end of the season.   

The following year, she had a second run in the Targa Florio. Moving out of her comfort zone once more, she shared an Opel Commodore with Marie-Claude Beaumont. They did not finish, due to an engine problem during their second lap, whilst Rosadele was driving.

The rest of her sporting year was quite similar to 1971. She drove a Fulvia in some of the hillclimb rounds of the Italian championship, and was eleventh in Group 4 in the Trieste-Opicina event. This was the best of her three finishes that year, driving for the Jolly Club team. She did enter the Rieti-Terminillo hillclimb in an Opel GT for the Conrero team, with whom she raced in the Targa Florio. For reasons unknown, she did not make the start.

1973 saw the Italian touring car championship becoming a circuit-based series, and Rosadele did not enter that year. She was only really happy when driving uphill on twisty mountain roads; it is unusual that she did not take to rallying. She remained active in hillclimbing, and was second in the Group 4 class of the Malegno-Borno climb, in her usual Fulvia. She was one place below Erasmo Bologna, who would become her husband.  

After this, she fades from the scene, although she is mentioned as being involved in supporting her brothers in their racing endeavours.

During her career, Rosadele sometimes used the nom de course of “Faros”.

(Image copyright Actualfoto)

Friday, 9 October 2015

Women Drivers in International Formula 3000

Giovanna Amati

Formula 3000 was the official second-level single-seater championship, below Formula One, from 1985 until 2004. For most of its history, it was considered the final stepping stone to F1.

Even fewer women drivers have raced in Formula 3000 than in Formula One. By the time F3000 was established, racing even in the lower formulae was becoming professional. Numbers of women racing single-seaters internationally were falling, although sportscar and touring car racing continued to include several female drivers.

Below is a list of the women who raced in Formula 3000, with a basic resume of their performance.

Cathy Muller (Lola T86/50-Cosworth/March 86B Cosworth) – unplaced (8 races, qualified for 5)

Giovanna Amati (Lola T87/50-Cosworth) – unplaced (3 races, qualified for 1)

Giovanna Amati (Lola T88/50-Cosworth) – unplaced (8 races, qualified for 4)
Cathy Muller (Ralt RT20-Cosworth) – unplaced (1 race, did not qualify)

Giovanna Amati (Reynard 90D-Cosworth/Mugen) – unplaced (10 races, qualified for 2)
Ellen Lohr (Lola T90/50-Cosworth) (1 race, did not qualify)

Giovanna Amati (Reynard 91D-Cosworth) – unplaced (10 races, qualified for 7)

(Image copyright dpa Picture-Alliance)

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Inessa Tushkanova

Inessa in 2015

Inessa Tushkanova is a driver and co-driver from Ukraine, now based in Russia. A quick Google image search for her would suggest that she is one of the models parachuted into motorsport from time to time, in order to promote something or someone. Although Inessa has modelled professionally, she is the real deal as a rally driver.

Inessa took part in various sports as a teenager, and rode a motorcycle from a young age. In 2006, she took her first steps in rallying, driving a Daewoo Sens in Russian club rallies. A couple of months after passing her driving test, the boyfriend of one of her friends was organising one of these rallies. Inessa and her friend Tatiana had the idea of entering as an all-girl team. She won a bronze medal in one of the club championships she entered, which was a good debut, especially since she and Tatiana were excluded from one of their first rallies, after oversleeping and turning up late.

After her small successes in 2006, she started entering bigger rallies as a navigator in 2007. Sitting alongside her fellow Ukrainian driver, Ivan German, she was not successful. She took the wheel herself in 2008, in a Subaru Impreza. Immediately, she impressed in Ukrainian rallies, finishing second in the Rally Boyarka. She also recorded two more top-ten finishes in Stolitsa Cup events: seventh in the Rally Stolitsa and ninth in the Mariupol Rally.

Quieter years followed in 2009 and 2010, although she did manage a sixth in the 2010 Rally Bukovyna, in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX. The year before, she had been 24th in the Bukovyna Rally, in the Impreza.  2010 saw her expand her motorsport repertoire from straight stage rallies, and she was third in class in an ice slalom in Lithuania in 2010.
If 2010 was a quiet year, then 2011 was a busy one for Inessa. She continued to branch out, into circuit racing. Her chosen championship was the Russian Mitjet Cup, a one-make series. She was on the pace very quickly, and won two races that year, at Smolensk, and Kazan in Poland.

Non-motorsport activities placed additional demands on her time. Her modelling career, which she had pursued since her teenage years, took off quite strongly this year. Although she achieved considerable success, she has claimed that she only did it to raise money for her rallying.

Rallying was still very much a priority. She mostly used the Lancer in 2011, and competed quite extensively in the Baltic countries. Her best finish was 18th, and sixth in class, in the Rally Vilnius in Lithuania. In December, she tried out a Renault Clio for the Babórka Rally in Poland, and was 26th out of 69 finishers.

Back in the Lancer, this pattern continued in 2012, with her activities concentrated again in the Baltic states, although she also competed in Russia and Poland. Her best finish was fourteenth, in the Russian Rally Masters Show, won by Evgeniy Novikov. She scored another top twenty finish in the Vilnius Rally. While she was in Lithuania, and working with a Lithuanian navigator, Irina Jankovskaya, she competed in some rallysprints at Shirvintos, earning two third places. This year saw her first European Championship event, the Rally Poland, in which she was 29th, and fourth in class.

In 2013, she initially switched her focus to western Europe, rallying in Finland and Italy, but was let down by car unreliability with the Lancer. She crashed out of the Arctic Rally, and did not finish the Itäralli in Finland, or the Italian Ronde Valtiberina either. After her Western adventure, she went back to a Subaru Impreza for one rally in Russia, the Rally Masters Show, in which she was 18th. The rest of the season was spent in the Russia Cup, driving a VW Polo. Her best result was tenth, in the Rally Gornuy Vershiniy. At some point this year, she also won a Time Attack event at Zandvoort, in the Netherlands.

In 2014, she competed mainly across Eastern Europe, with mixed results. She was excluded from the Rally of Estonia, and did not finish the Barum Rally, due to a crash. Her best finish was a 26th, in the Tarttu Rally, in Estonia. She scored two points in the ERC Production Cup. This year, she won her first European Ladies’ Cup, in the Rally Liepāja in Latvia.

She won another ERC Ladies’ Cup in 2015, again in the Liepāja Rally. She was 39th overall. This year, she was entered in the ERC2 class, and the Liepāja event gave her a ninth place in ERC2. This was her second rally of the year, after the Halls Winter Rally in Lithuania, which was not part of the ERC. She was sixth overall, the best result of her season. A run in the Pohjanmaa Rally in Finland gave her a 62nd place, but after that, her season started to go wrong. She crashed out of her first Circuit of Ireland, then did not finish the Harju Rally in Estonia, and Rally Estonia itself. At the time of writing, she is set to change her Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX for a Renault Clio, for the Acropolis Rally. She is third in the ERC Ladies’ Trophy.

Inessa intends to continue in rallying, and her programme seems to take her further and further afield each year.

(Image from

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Female Rally Drivers After 1950: the USA

Verena Mei (right), with co-driver Leanne Junnila

The rally scene in the USA is growing every year, and female drivers are very much a part of that. Some of the profiles below originally came from the RallyDrivers in the Americas post. Gail Truess has her own post.

Lucy Block – rallied in America between 2009 and 2013, initially as a co-driver. Her first rally as a driver was the Middle Cog rally in 2009, swapping seats with Christine Beavis. Her car was a VW Golf. She took the wheel again in 2010, driving a Mazda3 in the Mexico Rally and finishing 17th. She was also 19th in the LLCote Rally. A break from competition followed, but she returned in 2013, in a Ford Fiesta R2. Her best results were two fourteenth places, in the Maine and New Hampshire Rallies. She does not appear to have competed since then. Lucy is married to WRC driver and Gymkhana creator, Ken Block.

Tracey Gardiner - driver from the United States, who began rallying in earnest in 2013, despite being in her 40s. Initially, she drove a Subaru Impreza in the two-part Sno*Drift Central Regional Rally, and was 17th and eleventh on the twin events. In April, she took delivery of a Toyota Yaris, and promptly won the Production class in the Wagons Ho! Rally. She was 42nd overall. That year, in the Yaris, she managed three more class wins, in the Trail’s End, Ottawa and Lac Vieux rallies. Her best overall finish was 16th, achieved twice, in the New England Forest and Lake Superior Rallies. She was 32nd in the Rally America championship. 2014 was a shorter season, as the Yaris, nicknamed “Jellybean” was damaged during the Susquehannock Trail Rally, in May. Tracey returned in October for the Lake Superior Rally, and scored her best finish of the year, fourteenth, and second in class. She was 25th in the championship. As well as actually competing, Tracey runs TAG Rally Sport, her own team, and a motorsports marketing agency.  

Verena Mei - American driver who started out as part of the import scene, competing in drifting as well as promo modelling. In recent years, she has moved into mainstream motorsport, and is active in the US rally championship. She took up rallying in 2011, undertaking training before driving competitively. Her first event was the Sno*Drift Rally in 2011, as a navigator to Wyatt Knox. In 2012, she started driving herself, in a Ford Fiesta. She achieved some good class finishes, and even won the B-Spec National Championship, as well as finishing fourth in the 2WD standings. In 2013, she carried on with the Fiesta, run by the Truecar team and partly supported by Ford themselves. With her usually co-driver, Leanne Junnila, she finished five of her six events, with a best result of twelfth, in the Ojibwe Forests Rally. She was 20th overall in the US championship.  

Christy Nelson – rallied in the Rally America championship between 2010 and 2013. Her first car was a Nissan Sentra, and she was second in her first event, the Nocona Rally Stomp. In 2012, after a couple of seasons of solid results, she upgraded to a Subaru Impreza WRX, and had a best finish of fourth, in the 100 Acre Wood Rally. 2013 was a strong year, with four class podiums, the best of these being a second, in the Drift Regional Rally. She was 20th overall. Prior to taking up rallying, Christy was a successful club rallycross competitor, winning SCCA championships in 2008 and 2011.

Amanda Skelly – rallies a 1998 Subaru Impreza in her regional Rally America championship. She began in 2012, in the SnoDrift Rally. She returned to the event in 2013, finishing 19th overall. Her best finish that year was twelfth, in the Drift Central Rally. In 2014, she earned another two top-twenty finishes in the Sno and Drift Rallies. Her 2015 programme was similar, with her best finish being 14th, in the SnoCentral Rally. As well as driving, Amanda also co-drives on occasion, and she and her 2015 navigator, Ian Kessel, have taken turns in both seats. Her team is called Noble Star Rally and includes her sister, Desiray, among its members. Desiray was her first co-driver.

(Image from

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Naomi Schiff

Naomi with the KTM X-Bow in 2015

Naomi Schiff is a Belgium-based South African driver. She is one of the most cosmopolitan speedqueens on this site, with a Belgian father and a Rwandan mother. She spent much of her childhood in South Africa, where she began racing. Currently, she competes under the South African flag, although she has previously raced on a Belgian license.

Naomi’s father raced himself when he was younger, but he did not push her into motorsport. She caught the racing bug at a karting birthday party held by a friend. Bt the age of twelve, she was racing her own kart.

Following a successful kart career in South Africa, she moved up to Formula Volkswagen in 2010, still only aged 16. She did six races, with a best finish of sixth, and was 17th overall.
Her Formula Volkswagen season was accompanied by some more karting, and she continued to race karts, with some success, in 2011. At this time, she was studying for exams, and also modelling, in addition to her racing activities.

After that, she moved to Belgium, and raced a Norma M20 in four rounds of the Belgian Special Open Trophy, managing a second in her first race, with no testing beforehand. She was also fifth and sixth at Spa. Unfortunately, the owner of the team for which she was driving vanished, and took all of her sponsor money with him. This was the end of her season.
A period on the sidelines followed, and she used this as an opportunity to finish her education. She decided afterwards to decamp from South Africa to Belgium full-time, and to pursue motor racing as a career. This was the end of her modelling days, and she was now on the lookout for sponsorship and racing opportunities.

She reappeared in 2013, racing in different machinery in different parts of the world. She was back in a Radical for two rounds of the Dutch Supercar Challenge, giving her another two sixth places, after making a guest appearance at the Motorland meeting of the Formula Renault Eurocup. She was less successful there, with one 34th place. A chance meeting then led to a new career direction; she was due to test a Lamborghini Gallardo for the Reiter Engineering team, but when she arrived, a customer had already claimed the car. Later that day, she met the driver, a Chinese racer and team owner. When Naomi explained that the drive she was testing for had been taken, the team owner offered her his own race seat, in the Clio Cup in China. So it was off to Southeast Asia, which was a good move. She won her second Chinese Clio Cup race, after coming second in her first, against experienced local drivers, at Chengdu. At Guangdong, she picked up another win, but did not finish her other race. In between, she did two Asian Formula Renault races, and was sixth and seventh at Zhuhai. Whilst in China, she guested in some rounds of the Scirocco-R Cup there, with at least one second place. Late in the northern hemisphere season, she was one of the twelve entrants in the VW Scirocco-R Shootout for female drivers, held in Germany. Lucile Cypriano was the eventual winner.

She intended to compete in the North Europe Formula Renault series in 2014, but this fell through. She returned to the Chinese Clio Cup, invited back by her 2014 team, and won it convincingly, with four victories. In Europe, she competed in the Zolder 24 Hours, in a Wolf GB08 sportscar, and was seventh overall, with Jonathan Pizzuti, Kurt Thiers and Guglielmo Belotti.  

In 2015, she worked with Reiter Engineering again, driving a KTM X-Bow in the Nova GT4 Euro Series. She entered the championship for the Slovakiaring round, with Reinhard Kofler, and was rewarded with a third place and a win. She has also achieved two fourth places at the Red Bull Ring, at the time of writing. As well as the GT4 Series, Naomi is also driving a Lamborghini Gallardo for the Reiter team at last, in the GT Sports Club series for “gentlemen” drivers.

Naomi is signed with the Reiter team, who run the Lamborghini and KTM works sportscar teams, as a junior driver.

(Image copyright KTM)

Monday, 21 September 2015

Corinne Koppenhague (Tarnaud)

Corinne, left, with Bob Wollek and Jacques Rey in 1970

Corinne Koppenhague was a versatile French racer, probably best known for coming 11th at Le Mans in a Porsche Carrera in 1975, as Corinne Tarnaud. Her team-mates were Yvette Fontaine and Anny-Charlotte Verney.

Her motorsport journey began in 1968 or 1969, depending upon which source one trusts. Her cousin, Marie-Claire Cibié (Beaulieu), had been involved in events like the Tour de France, and Corinne had become friends with some of the young guns of French motor racing, including Jacques Laffite and Jean-Pierre Jabouille. Her first practical experience of a motor race was when she helped out in the pits at the Reims 12 Hours, working for Sylvain Garant. This spurred her on to start her own competition career. In 1969, she co-drove for Marie-Pierre Palayer in the Critérium des Cévennes, in a BMW. They won the Coupe des Dames.

In the 1970 Critérium des Cévennes, she navigated for Bob Wollek, and helped him to second place in his Porsche 911. She shared a similar car with Thierry Sabine for the AGACI 300 at Montlhéry, but the result has been lost. Her performance on the Critérium des Cévennes was enough to win her the French Coupe des Dames for co-drivers. She also drove herself in some French rallies, in the Porsche, at Chataigne and Poitou.

By 1971, she had moved more fully into the driving seat. Her biggest event of the year was the Tour de France, which she had entered in a Porsche 911. Her co-driver was Christine Rouff, later a key member of Team Aseptogyl, and they had a third team member in the shape of a tortoise, which slept in the Porsche’s glove box and was fed by the mechanics. Corinne and her team were 27th out of 49 finishers, and ninth in the 2000cc GT class. Navigation had not been completely left behind: she sat beside Francine Warein in a Simca for the Morocco Rally. At some point, she also co-drove for Christine Dacremont in an Opel Kadett, perhaps this year.
In 1972, she stepped away from Porsches temporarily, and drove an Alfa Romeo 2000 GT. She did not finish this year’s Tour de France due to engine failure, but was 32nd in the Ronde Cévenole. She was still active in French rallies in the Porsche, and entered that year’s Paris-St. Raphaël Rally. 

She did not compete in 1973. It was this year that she married, and thereafter, raced under the name Tarnaud or Koppenhague-Tarnaud. She was eighth in the 1974 Paris-St. Raphaël, driving an Alfa Romeo 2000. Another run in the Ronde Cévenole led to an 18th place, out of 33 drivers, and she was 27th in the Tour de France, in an Alfa Romeo again. Her team-mate for the Tour was a Madame Hoube, who had co-driven for her in rallies previously.

1975 was the year of her Le Mans adventure. She was part of an all-female team, led by Anny-Charlotte Verney, whose Porsche 911 Carrera RS they drove. Anny-Charlotte was another regular on the French racing and rally scene. Yvette Fontaine, the third team member, was also multi-talented, and from Belgium. They were the better of the two all-female teams that year, and were second in the Series GT class. She teamed up with Christine Beckers at Zolder, driving a Triumph Dolomite, and even made the trip out to Sweden, to race a Volvo in a one-make cup there. She was all set to drive in another Tour de France, too, but the death of her intended team-mate, “Charlotte”, in a road traffic accident, meant that she dropped out.
She attempted to qualify for Le Mans again in 1976, driving a TOJ SC204 with Jacky Haran and Jacques Marquet. They were not successful.

She was certainly still involved in stage rallying in 1976, and was part of one of the later incarnations of Team Aseptogyl. She drove a little Autobianchi A110 in the Monte Carlo Rally for the team, although she does not appear to have finished. She may well have rallied elsewhere in the pink A110, as she appears in Aseptogyl publicity material for that season. She entered the Mont Blanc Rally that year, but crashed out. As well as the Aseptogyl car, she also drove an Alpine-Renault 1800.

1977 was mostly spent away from motorsport, “resting”, as Corinne claimed in a contemporary interview in Echappement. In 1978, she raced an Alfasud in a European one-make series, finishing third at Albi, and setting a lap record in the process.

After 1978, she became more and more involved in rally raids, first on motorcycles, then on four wheels. In 1979, she entered the first Paris-Dakar Rally, on a motorbike, one of seven female riders making history that year. She rode a Suzuki, but did not finish. The following year, she moved into the car class, in a Willys Jeep. This led to another non-finish. She attempted the Dakar another eight times, once more on a motorcycle in 1985. Her last try was in 1988, when she drove a Land Rover. Her other vehicles included a Range Rover, a Jeep Hotchkiss in 1981 and a Toyota pickup in 1982.

After her retirement from active motorsport in 1988, she has remained involved in competitive sport. She still rides motorcycles recreationally, and skis competitively, despite her advancing age.

(Image copyright Michelle Wollek)

Friday, 18 September 2015

Ekaterina Stratieva

Ekaterina at the 2014 Acropolis Rally

Ekaterina Stratieva is a Bulgarian driver who competes in the European Rally Championship (ERC). She has won two European Ladies’ Championships.

Her family were motorsport fans, and she was a spectator at the circuits from a young age. When she was 21, she took her first steps towards a competition career of her own, starting with hillclimbs and club circuit racing in a Suzuki Swift. She began rallying in 2006, at the age of 24, driving a Citroen Saxo in Bulgarian events. This was a brave step, and Ekaterina claims herself that being “Bulgarian and blonde” is not an ideal start to an international rally career. Not one to shy away from a challenge, one of her first rallies was the Rally of Bulgaria itself, then a European championship round. She was 25th, and third in class. Her best result came from the Rally Victory Sofia, in which she was 22nd, fifth in class. As well as rallies, she spent some time competing in hillclimbs in Bulgaria, winning a class championship. She used her rally car.

Her second year of rally competition, 2007, was spent in the Bulgarian championship. The Saxo was run all year by Astra Racing. Ekaterina steadily improved her rally performances, and had five top-twenty finishes. The best of these was thirteenth in the YU Rally, which was part of the Bulgarian championship, despite being held in Serbia. In the Rally Bulgaria, she was the winner of class N2, and was 24th. Her first rally outside the Bulgarian championship, the Saturnus Rally in Slovenia, ended in a retirement on the first stage. She was 21st in the Bulgarian championship. Away from rallying, she won another class championship in the Saxo, in the Bulgarian hillclimb championship.

In 2008, she drove a Citroen C2 R2 in rallies the Bulgarian championship. This year, she did not finish as many rallies as previously, but her final positions kept improving. She scored the first top-ten of her career, a sixth place in the Victory Rally Sofia, then followed it up with a tenth place in the Rally Tvardica, at the end of the season. Her performances were enough to get her a Pirelli Star award, which gained her entry to the ERC rounds in Italy, Croatia and Bulgaria for 2009.

She ran quite well in her three Pirelli Star rallies: she was 45th in the Mille Miglia in Italy, 19th in Croatia (with a class second) and 20th in the Rally of Bulgaria itself. Her year was more international than ever before, with an entry into the Barum Czech Rally as well as the Bulgarian championship. She was 52nd in the Czech Rally. The Bulgarian championship was a happier hunting ground; she was tenth in the Serbia Rally, and won class A6 in the Trayanovi Vrata and Vida rallies. Her finishing positions were twelfth and thirteenth respectively. She was second in class in the Bulgarian championship, and was never out of the top twenty.

Despite her partnership with her long-term co-driver, Rumen Manolov, ending after the 2009 season, Ekaterina continued to improve in 2010. She began the year with two gravel rallies in Greece, the Halkidiki Rallysprint and the Rally Thermaikou, finishing a competent thirteenth and 19th. A rare mechanical fault put her and the Citroen out of the Serbia Rally, then she was excluded from the Rally of Bulgaria, for a technical infringement. A somewhat disappointing Czech Rally and another retirement, from the Rally Sliven, then gave way to two top-ten finishes. She was eighth in the Rally Tvardica, and then fourth in the Hebros Rally, with a class win. This was enough to score her a second in class for the championship.

2011 was very international in nature for Ekaterina. She spent quite a lot of time competing in Romania. Her best finishes were two 22nd places, in the Clujului and Iaşului rallies. Elsewhere, she managed a class win in the Croatia Rally, finishing 18th overall, and a sixth in the Rally Tvardica. Her 19th place in the Yalta Rally in the Ukraine, an IRC event, gave her a class second. At the end of the year, she was second in class in the Romanian championship, and was also named their female driver of the year. She also gained a new navigator, Carmen Poenaru, who is also Romanian. Their first rally together was the Rallye du Var in France, in which they were 91st, in the Citroen.

In 2012, her season was split between the Eastern European and western European rallies, in the C2. She entered five rounds of the IRC, in the Canary Islands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Ukraine. Her best finish was eighth, in the Yalta Rally. She was also eleventh in the Rally Sliven, the Bulgarian round. Rally Bulgaria itself, an ERC round this year, gave her a ninth place, second in class. She was tenth in the Sredna Gora Rally, and won her class. That year, she also rallied in Romania and Switzerland, although she did not finish the Rallye du Valais. She was third in the Bulgarian championship, third in the 2WD class of the ERC (sixth overall), and won their unofficial Coupe des Dames. Her performances in international rallies earned her the Richard Burns Award.

2013 was a mixed year. She entered rallies across Europe, with two eighteenth positions, in the Hebros Rally and the Açores City Rally Show, her best finishes. She was also 21st in the Tour de Corse, part of that year’s ERC. A couple of accidents, in the SATA Rallye Açores and the Sibiu Rally Romania, may have knocked her confidence. She was not quite on form, and lost her European Ladies’ crown to the Australian, Molly Taylor.

Her 2014 schedule was similar, taking in the European Rally Trophy, including the Açores, Ypres and Czech Barum Rallies. Her best result was 22nd, in the Acropolis Rally. She was 38th in the ERC Production Cup. Of interest this year were two drives in a Subaru Impreza, in the Acropolis Rally and the Rally Liepāja, in Latvia. She finished the Acropolis Rally in 22nd, but the engine failed in Latvia. She spent the rest of the season in her trusty Citroen C2. One consolation was her first official ERC Ladies’ Trophy.

Her 2015 season continued in the same vein. She had a shorter schedule, and was committed to ERC rallies. Her co-driver this year was Julianna Nyírfás, from Hungary, a highly-experienced ERC navigator. Her best finish was 27th, in the Circuit of Ireland, and she was also 28th in the Brasov Rally in Romania. As before, she mainly stuck with the C2, but experimented with bigger cars. She drove the Impreza again in the Bosphorus Rally, but did not finish. A drive in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX in the Barum Czech Rally gave her a 48th place, which was not spectacular, but enough to net her another Coupe des Dames. She ended the season as the Ladies’ champion once more.

(Image from