Sunday, 12 April 2015

Copa de Damas and Formula Hyundai Femenina

Marisa Panagopulo

Both the Copa de Damas (Ladies’ Cup) and Formula Hyundai Femenina ran in Argentina, in the 1990s. The Copa appeared first, in 1994, followed by Formula Hyundai Femenina (not to be confused with single-seater series run elsewhere, with similar names.)

Both were one-make saloon championships, with the Copa de Damas running Nissan Sentras, and Formula Hyundai Femenina using the Hyundai Accent. During the 1990s, there were several womens’ racing championships in Argentina, and South America generally, and for a few seasons, Formula Hyundai Femenina ran concurrently with the Copa de Damas.

There was some crossover between the two championships, with several drivers moving between them, including Marisa Panagopulo, who won both, Karina Furlan and Claudia Teatini. A number of drivers from outside Argentina raced in the two series over their lifetimes. These included Shantal Kazazian, from Chile.

The Copa de Damas was quite closely associated with the Turismo Carretera touring car championship in Argentina, and some of the drivers from both ladies’ championships later joined the TC grid. They included Marisa Panagopulo and Ianina Zanazzi, who also raced single-seaters, with some success.

Interest in women-only competitions was dwindling towards the end of the 1990s. The Nissan-based series was replaced by a similar one for the Vauxhall/Opel Corsa, but this too disappeared after 1999.

Winners – Copa de Damas
1994 Marisa Panagopulo
1995 Maria Angelica Alberdi
1996 Silvina Genjo
1997 Mariela Manfredotti

Winners – Formula Hyundai Femenina
1995 Marisa Panagopulo
1996 Claudia Teatini
1997 Karina Furlan
1998 Gabriela Crespi

For profiles of some of the drivers who raced in these series, try here.
The Campeonato Brasileiro Ford Fiesta Femenino, a similar Brazilian championship, is discussed here.

(Image from

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