Saturday, 18 November 2017

Female Drivers in TC2000 in Colombia


Miriam Gil and Maria Paula Martinez

Colombia has a thriving saloon racing scene. Its premier touring car championship is TC2000 (Turismo Carretera). This is a multi-class championship with two sections for novice drivers (Academy), plus a Junior class and a main TC2000 class. Women drivers have been a feature of TC2000 for many seasons now. Most are from Colombia, but the championship also attracts drivers from the surrounding countries.

Maria Isabel Bonilla – Colombian driver who races touring cars in her domestic championship. Between 2012 and 2013, she took part in the Colombian TC (Turismo Carretera) Academy, in an attempt to get onto the professional racing circuit. Her cars were a SEAT and a Mazda. She was most successful in the SEAT in 2012, and managed one podium place. In 2016, after a break, she raced a Chevrolet in the TC2000 series in Colombia, in the Junior class. She was the highest-placed driver in her region and was sixteenth overall in the championship.

Maria Isabel Cajiao - raced in the TC2000 touring car series in Colombia. She competed in 2005 and 2006, driving a Honda in 2006 at least. Both years, she was seventh in the championship, and the leading female driver. After 2006, she was linked to a drive in a “PanAm” Grand Prix series, but this did not happen. Little other information about Maria Isabel’s other racing activities, or biographical data, appears to exist.

Jennifer Cañon - has raced touring cars in Colombia since 2014. Her first year in cars ended in a second place in the Academy B Class of Colombia’s TC2000, driving a Citroen. She repeated this in the the more competitive A class in 2015. A second season in the A class in 2016 was not as successful, and she was 22nd after missing the first two rounds. She did another incomplete season in the Citroen in 2017, and was 36th in the championship. She has also done some endurance races, including the 6 Hours of Bogota.

Miriam Gil - Venezuelan driver who races in TC2000 in Colombia. In 2017, she formed an all-female team with Maria Paula Martinez, for karting and TC2000. She raced a Lada in the second-string TC2000 series in 2017. Most of Miriam’s experience has been in karting, but she first raced in touring cars in 2014. She drove a Chevrolet in the Academy B class of Colombian TC2000 and was promoted to the A class before the end of the season, although she could not make the top-three shootout.   

Mary (Maribel) Gonzalez - finished eighth in the 2017 Colombian TC2000 Academy B class, driving a Fiat 147. She is another driver whose consistent approach is her strong point; her best finish seems to have been a fifth place. She shared the car with Edwin Carrillo, who used it in the Academy A class. 2017 appears to have been her first season in TC2000.

Maria Paula Martinez – Colombian touring car driver who started racing cars as a junior. 2013 seems to have been her debut season. In 2015, she won the TC2000 Academy development series outright. Her car was a Chevrolet Swift. Prior to this, in 2014, she was one of the top five Academy drivers. Her first year included a win in a Ladies’ race in TC2000. In 2016, she raced the Chevrolet in the Junior class of TC2000 Colombia, and was 39th overall after a strong, but short, part-season.

Maria Camila Medina - drove in the Colombian TC2000 touring car series between 2005 and 2007. She began with a part-season in 2005, before  two more substantial efforts at the championship. Her best overall finish was 30th, in 2006. Details of her cars are not widely recorded. At the end of 2007, she was linked to a drive in European Formula 3000, but this does not appear to have happened. In 2009, she is listed as a driver for the Petrobras 6 Hours of Bogota race, driving a Van Dieman. She did a couple of Latam Formula 2000 races in Miami in 2014, and was fifth and sixth, representing Colombia.

Paola Oliveros - raced in TC2000 in Colombia in 2017, in the A class. Her car was a Suzuki Swift GTi and she was part of a female team with Miriam Gil and Maria Paula Martinez. Her final championship position was 16th in Class A. She has been racing since at least 2014, when she took part in a TC2000 ladies’ race in aid of breast cancer charities. Her car was a Chevrolet.

Tatiana Perez - raced an El Mako JAC in Colombian TC2000 in 2017. She was competing in the Academy B class. Her season started well enough, but she dropped out part-way through. This left her in 41st place in the drivers’ standings. 2017 was her second attempt at TC2000, having had a similar year in 2016, when she entered the first round, but did not finish due to electrical problems.

Laura Rodriguez - finished joint second in the Colombian TC2000 Academy B class in 2017. She was driving a Mazda with her father, Javier. The duo’s consistent finishes helped them, although they have not quite managed to challenge for podiums. This was Laura’s second season in the series, after a couple of starts in 2016 in a Fiat.

Manuela Solorzano - raced a Peugeot in the Colombian TC2000 championship in 2017. She was competing in the TC A class, and was ninth overall. This was her second season in this championship and class; she was twelfth in 2016, in a similar car. This seems to have been her first season in a car. Previously, she was active in karting, and competed internationally between 2011 and 2015.

(Image from https://mundoautomovilwebblog.wordpress.com)

Monday, 13 November 2017

Angelique Germann


Angelique and her team in 2016

Angelique Germann is a German driver who was racing in national-level Formula 3 in Europe. She was one of the front-runners in the CEZ series in 2017, after winning the German title in 2016.

Angelique’s father, Andreas, raced in Formula Three across Europe and continues to do so, therefore it was natural that she gravitated towards this style of competition. She began racing single-seaters in a serious way in 2014. That year, she raced in the mostly Eastern European-based Remus F3 Cup. Her car was a Dallara 305 Opel, run by her father’s racing team. Her best finishes were two ninth places, at Poznan, and another two top-tens at Salzburg.

She continued to race a Formula 3 car in 2015, entering two championships: the Central European Zone (CEZ) F3 series and the Remus F3 Cup, formerly Austrian F3. She used a Dallara F311 for both. Her F3 Cup season took in just over half of the championship. Her best result was a ninth place at Brno, at the end of the season. She was less successful in her part-season in the CEZ series, in which her best result was 17th at Brno. She did have the small consolation of finishing in front of her father, who was 18th.

As well as F3, both Angelique and Andreas had at least a guest appearance in the Italian F2 championship. Angelique was driving a Dallara F308 run by Franz Wöss Racing.

In 2016, she made something of a breakthrough in the sport. She entered the Central European Zone F3 championship and the Remus F3 Cup and performed well in both series. A highlight was winning a Cup race at Lausitz and finishing fifth in the championship. She was sixth in the CEZ championship, with a best finish of fifth. Her breakthrough race was the first CEZ round at Most, where she was seventh. Her fifth followed shortly afterwards. She was fifth in the Remus F3 Cup.

The German F3 Cup ran parallel with these two series. Despite a slightly shaky start at the Red Bull Ring, she won seven of the next ten races and took the championship comfortably. Her nearest rival was her father.

Her fourth season in Formula 3 was spent moving between the Remus Cup, the CEZ series and the German F3 Cup. Driving for Franz Wöss Racing again, she scored one win, at Hockenheim, and four second places, behind her team-mate Philipp Regensberger. Regensberger won the German championship and eleven out of the fourteen races.

She did not do quite as well in the European-based Remus series, although she held her own. Her best finish was a fourth place at Spa, and she was seventh overall. The CEZ championship seems to have run alongside the European one, as Angelique’s scores seem to be very similar.

Previously, she raced an NSU TT in historic events, from at least 2012, sometimes with her father. Away from motorsport, she is a keen horsewoman.

(Image from http://rfk-tuning.de)

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Marisa Panagopulo


Marisa in 2012

Marisa Panagopulo is an Argentine driver, active since the 1990s.

Marisa’s early forays into motorsport were in karting and midget racing. She did race karts extensively from the age of about fourteen, sometimes with her brother, Carlos. It took a while for her to be able to move up to cars; she was still karting as a senior in 1986, when she was 18.

She seems to have started her senior career in 1994, in a Nissan Sentra, which she raced in the Copa Damas. This was a one-make series for female drivers, which was shown on television. She won the 1994 championship.

In 1995, she was part of Formula Hyundai Femenina, another touring car championship for female drivers. Her second year in cars gave her another winner’s trophy.

Her first appearance in the leading TC series was the 2 Hours of Buenos Aires in 1996. She shared a Ford Falcon with José Larroudé and finished 16th. This was the first of three races that she did in the Falcon, and her best finish. In a different car, a TTE prototype supported by Citroen, she made her debut in the Mil Milhas at Interlagos. Her team-mates were Delfina Frers and Suzane Carvalho. They do not seem to have finished.

That year, she also raced a Citroen AX and a Volkswagen Gol in one-make series. She appears to have won at least one race in the AX.

After that, she took a break from motor racing, partly due to finances. During her time away, she became a mother.

She returned to karting for many years, in order to satisfy her competitive urges.

Marisa made a circuit comeback in 2012. With Delfina Frers, Lorena Blanco and Carolina Eiras, she was part of an all-female team for the Fiat Linea Cup. She was ninth in the Rosario race.

Since then, she has returned to competitive karting, and made a guest appearance in the ASM Championship in 2014. She was driving a Fiat Uno. She also dabbles in historic racing.

(Image from http://lapaginadecharly.blogspot.co.uk)