Thursday, 5 October 2017

Emma Falcon

Emma Falcón is a Spanish driver from the Canary Islands. She has been rallying since 2011.  

Her first rallies were in the Canaries, driving a VW Polo with Eloy Rivero. Her best result was eleventh, in the Rally of Lanzarote. She had managed a second top-twenty finish in the Tenerife Rally, two months earlier.

She spent another year rallying on her home islands, picking up a tenth in the Rallye Villa de Teror and a thirteenth in the Ciudad de Telde Rally. The Maspalomas Rally was her last event before moving to mainland competition in 2013, and she was 28th overall..

Her new car for 2013 was a Ford Fiesta, and she was now navigated by Rogelio Peñate. This was a busy season for Emma, with thirteen rallies at home and in Spain. Apart from two accidents, she adapted well to the Spanish gravel, and managed an eighth place in the Rally de Tierra del Bierzo, which meant she also won the Fiesta Trophy class. Another highlight was an eleventh in the Tierras Alta da Lorca Rally, which was won by Xavi Pons in a Mitsubishi Lancer.

She also entered her first WRC event, the RACC Catalunya Rally, but did not finish, after a fuel tank broke on the last stage. She was third overall in the Spanish Fiesta Trophy, eighth in the Canary Islands championship, fourteenth in the Spanish gravel championship, and Spanish Ladies’ champion.

In 2014, she had a shorter rally season, and managed two thirteenth places, in the Senderos de la Palma and Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés rallies. Her car was a Fiesta again. Both of her finishes were in the Canaries championship; her one visit to the Spanish mainland ended in an accident on the Rally Sierra Morena.

2015 saw her take on more rallies, and also some outings as a course car driver, in a VW Amarok. Her best finish was 17th, in the Cóbreces Rally. She normally used the Fiesta, apart from one rally in a VW Polo, the Isla de Tenerife Rally, which she did not finish.

2016 was a very strong year for her, with three top-ten finishes, the best of these being a fifth place in the Rally Senderos de la Palma. The others were a sixth place in the Maspalomas Rally and ninth in the Ciudad de Telde Rally. She was back to a full programme of rallies and took part in thirteen events, plus a couple of course car outings with her boyfriend, Surhayen Pernia.

In terms of awards, she also picked up an ERC Ladies' trophy in the Corte Ingles Rally in the Canaries, and was fourth in the Canary Islands championship. Her car was a Citroen DS3.

2017 was an important year for Emma. She rallied outside Spain for the first time in her career, driving a Citroen DS3 for the RMC Motorsport team. Her season began with a 16th place in the Rallye Sierra Morena in Spain, before her first ERC rally of the year, her home event in the Canary Islands. She was 39th overall, and picked up another ERC Ladies’ award, as well as a C2 class win and seventh in ERC3.

The Villa de Adeje and Ourense rallies gave her a 20th and eleventh place respectively. Her first trip to northern Europe was for the Rzeszowski Rally in Poland. This, unfortunately, ended in a heavy crash. Her Citroen had a puncture and was being pursued closely by another car. She rolled on a small bend, colliding with some trees. Spectators immediately came to her and Rogelio Penate’s aid. Emma was not seriously harmed, but Rogelio hurt his back.

Less than a month later, Emma and the RMC DS3 were back in action in the Czech Republic. She won yet another ERC Coupe des Dames in the Barum Czech Rally Zlín, and was 49th overall. This was in spite of brake problems.

The Roma Capitale Rally was her final event of the year. Emma was ahead of the Italian, Tamara Molinaro, in the ERC Ladies’ standings, but only just. The Citroen held out until the final stage, but then suffered an engine failure, leaving Tamara Molinaro to take the win. Catie Munnings also finished, which left Emma in third.

In 2018, she returned to the ERC with the aim of improving her performances on gravel. She drove the Citroen again and was fifth in the ERC3 standings, as well as the ERC ladies' champion. Her best result was probably in the notoriously rough Acropolis Rally, where she was 22nd out of 46 finishers, second ERC3 car and second in the RC3 class. She was also 34th in Cyprus, another very rugged gravel rally.

Emma considers herself an ambassador for sport in the Canary Islands.

(Image copyright Copi Sport)

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