Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Women in One-Make Series, Part III

Edina Bús with her SEAT Leon

The last list is of female drivers in one-make series across the rest of Europe, including the Mini Challenge. Italian drivers, Polish drivers, German drivers, Swiss drivers, Croatian drivers, Hungarian drivers and Swedish drivers can be found in their own posts.

Ana Alvarez – raced in the Spanish SEAT Leon Supercopa, in 2006 and 2007 at least. In her first season, she did fifteen races, managing to score points once. She was 29th in the championship. Her second season was only three races, and she was unable to challenge for honours. In between, in 2007, she raced the Leon in the Barcelona 24 Hours, and was tenth, as part of a four-driver team. She may well have entered the championship again in 2008, but the results are not forthcoming. She was certainly part of the Spanish endurance championship that year, and scored at least one third place.

Isabelle Biela - Czech driver who raced in the Volkswagen Scirocco-R Cup in 2010, in Germany. Her best race result was thirteenth, at the Lausitzring. She was 17th in the overall standings, and ninth in the Junior Cup. Although she has done some instruction, and has possibly been involved in classic rallying, with an Audi, she does not appear to have raced again after her debut season. Although she did have an accident at the Nürburgring, it did not seem to affect the rest of her season much, although she was not as close to the pace as she had been. Her father is sportscar racer, Frank Biela.

Alba Cano – driver from Malaga who raced in the Spanish Clio Cup in 2015. This was her fourth year of senior competition, and her second in the Clio Cup. She achieved at least two podium places. In 2014, she won the Ladies’ award, and was tenth overall, with one fourth place as her best finish. She won the outright championship for Andalucian drivers. She also takes part in endurance racing in the Clio, and was ninth in the Spanish Endurance Championship for Touring Cars in 2013. Her best result was a class win. In her first year of racing, she tried out one-make cups for Mazda and Hyundai, and won the Andalucian category in the Mazda championship. In 2016, she did some rounds of the Spanish Clio Cup, with a best finish of tenth, at Jarama. She drove a SEAT Leon in the 24H TCR Endurance series in 2017, and was sixth in the championship. Her all-Spanish Monlau team won two races at Magny-Cours and Misano. Previously, she was active in karting, and was the first Spanish female driver to win a championship. 

Tanja Dexters – Belgian model and media personality who raced in the Mini Cooper Challenge in 2004. She was not among the front-runners, and did not race in all of the rounds. She was 43rd overall. Her entry was linked to her participation in that year’s Miss Belgian Beauty competition. She has not raced since.

Sabine Dubois - Belgian racer who won the 2003 VW Fun Cup 24 Hours with Fanny Duchateau and Sylvie Delcour. She has been a regular in the Fun Cup throughout the 2000s and for a while, was usually one of the front-runners. After 2006, she seems to have driven for different teams and has not been quite on the pace. The 2003 team returned to the Fun Cup 25 Hours in 2008, but did not win this time. 

Zihara Esteban - Spanish driver who began her senior career in the Spanish Clio Cup in 2011, after several years as a successful karter, both on the domestic and international scene. Her first season was rather up-and-down, with a lot of DNFs, but she managed one tenth place, at Catalunya, and was 24th overall, third in the Ladies’ standings. In 2012, she spent much of the year in karting again, but she also tried out the Euro Racecar NASCAR series, recently licensed from the States. She ran at the Loire and Valencia rounds, with a best finish of thirteenth, at Valencia. 2013 continued in the same way: karting, with four races in the Euro Racecar championship, at the beginning of the season. This time, she had two top-ten finishes, tenths at Nogaro and Dijon. In 2014, she did not do much circuit racing; she took part in the Maxi Endurance 32 Hour race at the Algarve track, and third in a SEAT Leon, and fourth in a Renault Clio, driving in two teams. Her main focus was rallying, in a Ford Fiesta R2. She did seven rallies, and her best result was 15th, in the Rallye del Bierzo. That year, she did her first WRC Rally, the Catalunya event. She was 46th. In 2015, she rallied a Peugeot 208 in Spain. Her only major rally was the Comunidad de Madrid RACE Rally, which she did not finish. She came back to the Spanish rally championship in 2017, driving a Peugeot 208. She was tenth in the Ciutat de Valls Rally. 

Louise Frost - Danish driver who has been racing in the DS3 Cup since 2016. In 2017, she scored her first win in the series, near the end of the season, at Jyllandsringen. Her second-best finish was fifth, achieved twice, at Jyllandsringen and Djursland. In 2016, she picked up a Rookie of the Year award. That year, she also raced a Ferrari 458 in the Danish Endurance Championship at Padborg Park.

Michelle Gatting - Danish driver who began racing in 2011. She was third in Danish Formula Ford in her first year, winning one race. This came after winning the Danish karting championship twice. In 2012, she moved to the VW Scirocco-R Cup in Germany, supported by the FIA Women in Motorsport commission. She was eleventh, and fourth in the Junior standings after one class win. She also drove a Scirocco in the Merdeka Endurance Race in Malaysia, but did not finish. She continued to race a Scirocco in 2013, in Germany, and managed four podium finishes, a third and three seconds. In 2014, she moved into sportscar racing, and raced in the Porsche Carrera Cup in Germany. Her best result was 15th, in Oschersleben. Towards the end of the season, she did two rounds of the International GT Open. She was eleventh in one race, in an Audi R8 LMS Ultra, at Spa. In 2015, she did not race competitively, but she did test a Thundersports car, with a view to entering the championship in 2016. Her Thundersports season in 2016 was a good one; she scored one win, at Bellahoj, as well as two second places, finishing eighth in the championship. Her car was a Dodge Challenger. 2017 was another strong season, with seven podium finishes and seventh in the championship. She also works for Porsche, as a driving instructor. 

Laura Hájková – Czech driver who raced in the Skoda Octavia Cup. She started in 2007, and had a solid, if unremarkable year, with a best finish of ninth, at Brno. A second season in 2008 went very similarly, with a ninth and eighth at Oschersleben her season’s highlights. In 2007, she also did some racing in Germany, using the Octavia in some rounds of the Divinol Cup, at the Nürburgring. She does not appear to have raced since 2008.

Cornelia Hütter - Austrian Alpine skier, who has done some motor racing. In 2011, when she was 19, she entered some rounds of the racing side of the Suzuki Swift Cup, and managed two sixth places at the Slovakiaring. She also seems to have done some rallying or hillclimbing in the same car. After devoting herself entirely to skiing for several seasons, she made two further guest starts in the 2014 Lotus Ladies’ Cup, at the Red Bull Ring. She was tenth in one race, and did not finish the other.

Veronique de Kock – had one season of racing in the Belgian Mini Cooper Challenge, in 2004. She was not really competitive, and does not seem to have completed the season. Her overall position was 42nd. Following in the footsteps of Brunhilde Verhenne before her, Veronique raced as part of her activities for the Miss Belgian Beauty contest.

Camille Laffite - occasional racer in one-make series and club racing in France. She competed in the VW Fun Cup in 2006 and 2008, including the 25 Hour race, which she finished both times, with different teams. Previously, she raced in Legends in France. At about the same time, 2005, she made her debut as an “Ice Girl” in the Andros Trophy, which she returned to in 2006. She is the younger sister of Marguerite Laffite, and daughter of Jacques Laffite. She and her sister sometimes race together. In 2009, Camille was a contestant on a cross-America motorsport-themed TV show, Bullrun USA. 

Claire Lajoux – raced in the Peugeot RC Cup in 2006. She did not compete for the full season, and was 28th in the championship. In 2009, she raced in at least some rounds of the VW Fun Cup, sharing a car with Laure de Coligny and Thierry Fecomme for the 25 Hour race at Spa. She does not seem to have raced since then.  

Kersti Lang - Estonian driver who races a BMW. Her first season was 2010, and she drove a BMW 325 in the Gruppe 325i Cup. She was fifteenth, after not quite being on the pace. In 2011, she raced again, and did better this time, finishing tenth. She was usually within the top ten, and had a best finish of eighth, at Pärnu. She did her third BMW season in 2012, but did not go quite as well, with one eighth place at Palanga. She does not appear to have competed in 2013. Previously, she did karate at international level, which she continued alongside her racing. For the past couple of seasons, she has been concentrating on her studies. In 2016, her name appears on lists as a medical car driver at tracks in Estonia.

Nathalie Maillet - 2006 Belgian VW Fun Cup champion. She also won that year's Fun Cup 25 Hour race. Since 2006, she has raced in the Roadster Cup in a different VW Beetle, coming second overall both times. She won the 2008 Fun Cup 25 Hours with the Dubois Racing team. The same team, comprising Nathalie, Ronnie Dubois and Benoit de Keijser, entered some Belgian Touring Car rounds, with midfield results. The same team raced an Audi A4 silhouette in the BTCS in 2009 and 2010, and won at least one round. They won the Spa 12 Hours in 2009. In 2011, Nathalie used the same car in the BTCS, for three races. In 2012, she contested the Euro RACECAR series, a European version of NASCAR. She was twelfth overall with one top-ten finish: eighth at Spa. RACECAR became the NASCAR Whelen Euroseries in 2013. Nathalie was twelfth overall again, with two eleventh places. In 2014, she drove a Toyota Camry in the Euroseries, and had a best finish of sixth, achieved at the Nürburgring and Le Mans. She was twelfth in the Elite 2 category. She did not race in 2015, although she managed the Racing Club Partners team in the Euroseries. In 2016, she was named as the new director of Spa-Francorchamps. Nathalie is from Luxembourg.

Nadezhda Mitroshkina - Russian driver who competed in the Mitjet Series in 2011. She did not complete the whole season, and her best finishes were a pair of eighth places, at Smolensk. She was 18th in the championship. Later, in 2013, she seems to have been involved in endurance karting. Language difficulties are impairing further research into her career.

Raquel Morera Ibanez - has competed in the Renault Clio Cup in Spain since 2010. In 2010, she was eighth in the championship. The following year, she was only fifteenth, with a best finish of eighth at Catalunya, and two further tenth places. She also drove in eight rounds of the Renault Clio Eurocup around Europe, with a best finish of thirteenth, also at Catalunya. In 2012, she only seems to have managed two Clio Cup races, at Catalunya. She entered four Eurocup races in 2013, with a best finish of thirteenth again, at Catalunya. 

Juliette Palacin – has been racing in the Mitjet series for several seasons, with the sixth being in 2015. She first entered in 2010, and was 15th overall in a Skoda silhouette car. After another two trying seasons, she was sixth in the Supersport series in 2013, with one win, at Val de Vienne. In 2014, she was ninth, in a BMW, having not managed to repeat her win. She was tenth in 2015, with a best finish of second, at Ledenon. In 2016, she only did a part-season, and so was down in the standings. Previously, she was a karter from the age of eleven, and also raced single-seaters in the French Formula Renault Campus championship. She has also raced Legends cars, in 2006. 

Marine Pidoux – began her senior racing career in 2014, after a serious accident stopped her from racing her kart any more. She raced in the low-cost Mitjet Supersport championship in France, for the VIP Challenge team. She was 31st overall. In 2015, she returned to the Mitjet series for a second go, and was 39th overall, after a part-season. Her finishes were solidly midfield. Another part-season followed in 2016, which left her 42nd overall. Away from the track, she designs motorsport team uniforms and fashion items for her own company. 

Maiken Rasmussen - Danish driver who raced in the VW Scirocco R Cup in Germany in 2011. She was 17th overall, with two top-ten finishes: a ninth at Hockenheim and an eighth at Oschersleben. She also made a trip to India for a guest spot in the Polo R Cup, and was rewarded with a second place in Race Two. In 2010, she had her first season of long-circuit racing, driving in the Smart championship. In 2012, she returned to Smart cars, for the 4Two Cup held across northern Europe. She managed at least one fifth place. 

Nicole Rigger (Kern) - Austrian driver who began her senior career in the Suzuki Cup in 2007, driving a Suzuki Swift. She was then known as Nicole Kern. Initially, she competed in the rally series. In 2008, she scored her first points in the series, and was twelfth overall. The following year, she managed her first podium, at the Mozartpreis, and was fifth overall in the racing series, making only a couple of appearances in the rally side. She moved away from rallying completely in 2010, and was fifth again, with another third place at the Pannoniaring. It was this year that she married fellow competitor, Jörg Rigger. In 2011, they seem to have shared a car for the first part of the season, and Nicole’s best finish was fifth, at the Red Bull Ring. She does not appear to have competed in cars after this, but she was part of an all-female team called the "Miss Austrias" in the Alpin Juwel Kart Trophy race in 2015.

Laia Sanz - Spanish racer, better-known as a motorcycle endurance rider who has won several ladies' European trials championships and ridden in the Dakar. She entered a couple of Clio Cup races in Spain in 2011, and won class A2 of the 2011 Barcelona 24 Hours, driving a Renault Clio. She was 18th overall, assisted by Enric and Jordi Codony, Francesc Gutierrez and Santi Navarro. In 2014, she did some ice racing in Andorra, in the G Series, and competed directly against Ingrid Rossell in a match race. She also did two rounds of the SEAT Leon Supercopa, in Catalunya, and was 19th and 20th. In 2015, she returned to enduros, and was ninth in the Dakar on a KTM. She did do some four-wheeled outings in a SEAT Leon, including two races in the Supercopa, and the Catalunya 24 Hours, at Barcelona. She was 16th overall, and second in class, as part of a two-driver team. At the end of the season, she was signed by the works KTM team, and has concentrated on motorcycles. She did another car race in 2017, finishing 15th in the TCR 24H race at Catalunya. Her car was a SEAT Leon.

Marta Suria - Spanish racer who has recently been active in several one-make series. In 2008, she was eighth in the Spanish Renault Clio Cup. This was her fourth season in the Cup, and her best finish. She returned to the Clio Cup in 2011, although she was less successful, only managing 23rd overall after some DNFs. In between, she was second in the Spanish Mini Challenge in 2010, with one win and several podiums. In 2012, she raced in the Clio Cup again, and was thirteenth overall after car trouble limited her participation. She also drove in two rounds of the German MINI Trophy. In 2013, she only seems to have entered two Clio Cup rounds, at Motorland in Spain.
Marta began racing historics in 2002, and drove an Alfa Romeo GTAm for some time. In 2004, she also won a Valencia regional speed eventing championship. She also competes in rallies, both of the stage and cross-country variety.   

Oksana Trofimova - Russian driver who raced in the 2011 Mitjet Cup. She was seventh in the championship, after best finishes of fourth, at Tushino and Smolensk. Apart from this year, she does not appear to have done more racing, despite being from a motorsport family. More recently, she has done some writing and PR work on behalf of her brother, Vladimir Trofimov.

Brunhilde Verhenne - former Belgian beauty queen. She raced in the Mini Challenge in 2004, as well as two rounds of the Toyota Yaris Cup. In 2005, she took part in a few races in a Volkswagen Lupo, and some kart events. She now concentrates on her PR career, focused around pro cycling.

Amalia Vinyes - Andorran driver who competed in the 2010 SEAT Leon Supercopa, in Spain and Europe. She was thirteenth in the Spanish championship, and only completed two rounds of the European series. Previously, in 2009, she raced in the Catalunya round of the International GT Open Championship, in a Ferrari F430 GTS. She was driving with her brother, Joan, for their family team, Baporo Motorsport. At some point earlier than this, Amalia did some ice racing. For 2011, she switched to rallying, in a Suzuki Swift, and was 22nd in the Rallye de Ferrol and twelfth in the Rallye Villajoyosa. She competed in the SEAT Leon Supercopa in 2014, and finished in the top ten four times. Her best finish was fifth, at Monza, and she was 15th overall. She did half of the Supercopa in 2015, finishing four of her six races. Her best finish was eleventh, at Paul Ricard, and she was 27th overall. She raced in the Spanish Endurance championship in the SEAT in 2016, and was fifth in the TCR class, with one win. As well as this, she did a couple of rounds of the Eurocup. Sticking with SEAT and TCR, she did part-seasons in the Spanish, Portuguese and Iberico touring car championships.

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