Friday, 27 August 2010

Female Rally Winners



Ewy and Anita Rosqvist, at the 1960 Midnight Sun Rally

A number of the drivers featured in the Speedqueens profiles have scored outright wins in international and national rallies. Michele Mouton, Pat Moss, Gilberte Thirion and Rosemary Smith all found success on the world stage, while Louise Aitken-Walker, Paola de Martini, Anne Hall and Christine Beckers, among others, have been victorious in national-level competition. Sara Williams now has her own profile, as do Ramona Karlsson, Ewy Rosqvist, Romana Zrnec and Eija Jurvanen.

Below are short profiles of a few lesser-known female drivers who have won rallies. Due to space constraints and often, a lack of information, the many winners of the women-only Paris-St. Raphaël event are not included.


Jo Cadman - winner of the 1997 Corolla Cup Rally in the Australian Championship. She won state and national class championships in the 1990s, sometimes driving a Mitsubishi Galant. Her only WRC outing was the 1999 Rally of New Zealand, in which she was 32nd in a Lancer Evo 3. More recently, she has been acting as co-driver to her partner, John Mitchell.



Brianne Corn – winner of three US rallies in 2011: the Roxton Rallye de Paris, Roxton Rumbles and Nocona Rally Stomp 2. She scored three additional Open Light class wins, and was the Rally America Open Light Central Division champion. Her car was a Subaru Impreza. She began rallying in 2006, after a couple of years in autocross and Solo competition. As well as rallying, she has competed at Pike’s Peak on several occasions, in different classes, winning the Time Attack class in 2011. Since 2012, she has concentrated mainly on running her own rallycross track in her home state of Texas, along with her brother.

Nadia Cutro - Argentine driver who usually competed alongside her navigating sister, Florencia (Flor). They have been rallying since at least 2006, and Nadia now enters rallies across South America, including the 2010 Rally Argentina, in which they were 19th. Previously, they have won the N4 Light class in Argentine rallies, and their best overall finish in 2010 was tenth, in the Rally de Tucuman. Their car in 2010 was a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII, run by Marcos Ligato’s Tango team. They were selected for the Pirelli Stars driver development programme in 2011, and initially continued with the satellite Tango team, in a Lancer Evo IX. They retired from their first rally, but were eighth overall in the Rally del Surubi-Goya. Later, they switched to a Fiat Punto, and were 17th in the Rally Pagos del Tuyu. In 2012, their car was a Fiat Palio. It was not a brilliant year, with only three finishes out of nine. The best of these was 16th in the Rally Ciudad de Goya. They carried on rallying the Palio in 2013, in the Junior class, supported by Fiat. They did better, finishing four out of eight rallies, with a fourteenth (third Junior team) in the Rally des Misiones, and fifteenth in the Rally de Cordoba. They were fourth overall in the Junior standings. The Fiat team withdrew their support for the rally programme after 2013, and Nadia acquired a Ford Fiesta for the 2014 season. Her season was much shorter this year, with one finish, in the Rally de Entre Rios. She was 17th, fourth in class. Nadia rallied the Fiesta again in 2015, but spent most of the season without Flor on the maps. Her best finish was ninth, in the Gran Premio de Villa Carlos Paz Rally, and she also won her class in the Entre Rios Rally, finishing fourteenth overall. In 2016, she took her first rally win, driving the Fiesta on the Rally de la Naranja. Her co-driver was Luciano Bombaci. 

Danielle Furzeland – rallies a Subarua Impreza WRC car in the UK, one of a handful of women to having driven a WRC in anger. She began rallying in 2013, and her first car was a Ford Escort MkI, which was quickly swapped for an Impreza. In her first year, she scored three top-ten finishes, the best of these being a seventh place in the Subaru WRC Spares TSH Stages. 2014 was quite similar, with four top tens and another seventh, in the Smeathorpe Stages. In 2015, she started driving the WRC Impreza, a 2000 model. She was second overall twice, in the Three Counties Stages and the Smeathorpe Stages. She also won her class in the Three Counties event. In 2016, she scored her first outright win: the Prima Motorsport Smeatharpe Stages. She was driving the Impreza. Danielle is from the Furzeland rallying family, and is the daughter of rally crew, Steve and Yvonne Furzeland.

Cristina Gutiérrez Herrero – mostly competes in rally raids, but has done some rallysprints in 4WD vehicles. She won one such event, the Tierra Alfoz de Quintanadueñas Rallysprint, in 2012, driving a Toyota Landcruiser, against both off-road and stage rally cars. She has won the Spanish All-Terrain Rally championship: she was T1 champion and overall runner-up in 2015, after a series of second places in Spanish raids, including the Baja Aragon, which is part of the FIA Cross-Country Cup. She was driving a Mitsubishi.  Previously, she was seventh in the championship, and fourth in class, in 2014. She has been rallying since 2010, and previously, competed in karting and motocross. In 2015, she was third in the FIA Women’s Cross Country Selection event in Qatar, and won a funded drive in the 2016 Sealine CrossCountry Rally. At the end of 2016, she embarked on her first Dakar Rally.

Gabi Husar - driver and co-driver from Austria. She was active from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s. As a driver, she used a Porsche 911. Her best results were a fourth place in the 1984 Semperit Rally, a fifth in the 1983 Semperit Rally and a sixth in the Janner-Rallye in 1985. In She also won the 1984 Bruckneudorf Rallysprint event outright. Earlier, in the 1970s, she drove a Fiat in European rallies, with less success. As a navigator, she occasionally sat beside Rudi Stohl in a Lada, in WRC events.

Susan Muwonge - Ugandan driver active since 2005. At first, she drove a Mitsubishi Lancer in rallysprints. She burst onto the African rally scene in 2007, finishing the Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally in a Subaru Impreza, the only woman to do so. She also won her country’s Clubmans’ championship. The following year, she made the finish in Uganda, in fifth place. She also took part in the East African Rally Challenge, and was fourth in the Pearl of Africa event. In 2009, she concentrated on the Ugandan National championship, and was rewarded with her first outright win on the UMOSPOC Rally. She was fifth in the final standings. She was active in rallysprints in Uganda in 2010, then returned to the African stages in 2011. This resulted in a win in the MMC Rally, and the Ugandan national championship. She planned to take a break in 2012 after certain rivalries went too far, but returned to the Ugandan championship. She did not win this time, but was the sole female finisher in the Pearl of Africa rally, in fifth place. In 2013, she contested three rallies, coming seventh in the Pearl of Africa Rally in the Impreza, but recording DNFs in the MPU Challenge Rally and the Mosac Easter Sprint. In 2014, she made another appearance in the Pearl of Africa Rally, and was thirteenth, in the Impreza. This was her only rally, as she had lost her major sponsor. She was back in action in 2015, in an Impreza. Her best finish was a fifth place, in the Mountains of the Moon Rally. She was also sixth in the Pearl of Africa Rally. In 2016, she was fourth in the Mountains of the Moon event, in the Impreza.

Kirsty Nelson - has been rallying in New Zealand since 2006. That year, she won her first rally, the Clubmans Rally of Rotorua, and entered her first WRC event, the Rally of New Zealand. She was 16. In 2007, she continued to rally in New Zealand in a Subaru Impreza, with a best finish of ninth. She moved up to the full championship in 2008 and also started competing internationally, in Malaysia. This continued in 2009. She tried to win funded WRC drives in 2009 as part of the FIA’s Pirelli Star Driver competition, but could not win the final round in Malaysia. She does not appear to have competed since then.


Donatella Tominz - winner of the Yu Rally in 1973, driving a Fiat 124 SS. The same year, she was tenth in the Rally San Martino di Castrozza. In 1972, she had been ninth in the same event, and sixth in the Elba Rally, driving the same car. She was Italian and European Ladies’ Champion in 1973. This was at least her third European ladies’ title. She had been rallying since the beginning of the 1970s and her first major international rally seems to have been the 1970 Rally Costa del Sol, in which she was eighth in a Porsche 911. She also entered the 1971 Sanremo-Sestriere event, which she retired from whilst driving the Porsche. Her regular co-driver was Gabriella Mamolo, also known as “Squaw”. They finished in the top ten of several of some of the later runnings of the Paris-St. Raphaël women’s rally.



Angela Vilariño – versatile Spanish driver of Basque origin. She began her motorsport career in hillclimbs, in 2003, when she was 18. Between then and 2007, she competed up to European level, and had some excellent finishes. After a break, when she became a mother, she returned to hillclimbs, and also did some circuit racing in the VdeV Endurance Championship, driving a Norma. She had another year in the championship in 2009, and did her first rallies in 2010, as well as more hillclimbs. Her first rally cars were a Suzuki Swift and a Subaru Impreza, and in her third-ever rally, the San Sebastian Rally, she was fourth overall. In 2011, she concentrated on rallysprints in the Basque country, and won four of them, in the Impreza. She won the championship, but only after an appeal against being excluded from the final round. For the next couple of seasons, she went back to hillclimbs. In 2014, she became the first female driver to win the Spanish championship. In 2015, she returned to rallying, contesting the Spanish Tarmac championship in an Opel Adam, for the works Opel team. Her best result was 16th, in the Comunidad de Madrid Rally, and she had three more top twenty finishes. She was 24th in the championship, and won the Ladies' trophy. She won the Coupe des Dames in the 2016 European Hillclimb Championship.

Stephanie Zorn - long-term presence in German rallying, usually in rallysprints. She did her first major rallies in 1998, in a Seat Cupra, although she did not finish either of them. Her first Rally Deutschland came in 1999, and she was 32nd, tenth in class, in the Cupra. A break from rallying then followed, but she was back in 2007, this time in a Renault Clio. After that, she concentrated almost exclusively on rallysprints until 2013, and was fifth in the 2008 Heidelbergring Rallysprint. She is a regular top-ten finisher, and was ninth in the Rosenhof event in 2011 and 2012, and seventh in the Fontane Rallye in 2012. In 2013, she entered more stage rallies again, and her best result was seventh, in the Rallye Stade. She secured five more top-twenty finishes. In 2014, she repeated her fifth place in the Heidelbergring event, still in a Clio. Later in the season, she bettered it, with a fourth place in the Holsten Rally. This was one of seven top-ten finishes she had that year. In 2015, she won her first event outright: the Holsten Rally, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6. She was also second in the Rallye Atlantis, in the Clio, and third in the Heidelberg Rallyesprint. She just missed out on another win in 2016, finishing second in the Rally Sonderjylland in Denmark, driving a Clio. She also scored five class wins, all in the Clio. Away from rallying, she competes in equestrian sport.

(Image from http://www.classicmotor.se/)

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