Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The FIA World Rally Championship Ladies' Cup

Twice winner Isolde Holderied, with her Toyota Corolla WRC

In 1990, the FIA created a Coupe des Dames for the World Rally Championship. To be eligible for the prize, drivers had to enter seven rounds of the WRC, including at least one outside Europe. Points were then awarded for finishing positions within each rally. This prevented local specialists from winning the Cup with a single good performance, and was meant to reward consistency. In practice, however, it meant that some entrants only made an effort with rallies that suited them, as eligibility was based on starting, rather than finishing, rallies. The phenomenon of a driver retiring from a rally early on, for no obvious reason, did draw criticism from some quarters, although the FIA Group N championship of the time ran in a similar manner, and attracted some of the same gamesmanship.

The Ladies’ championship attracted some good drivers, a couple of whom went on to challenge at the highest level of the sport. There were never great numbers of female competitors, and this seems to have been one of the factors in the decision to shelve the award after 1995.

1995 - Isolde Holderied

(Image from http://www.autozeitung.de/faszination-auto/isolde-holderied-im-toyota-corolla-wrc/Bild/n257057/5)

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