Monday, 24 April 2017

The European Ladies' Rally Championship


Ewy Rosqvist and Ursula Wirth

The FIA European Rally Championship began in 1953. For the first thirteen years of its existence, a Ladies’ Championship prize was awarded to the overall highest-performing female driver.
In its heyday, the Ladies’ Prize was taken seriously by teams and manufacturers, who liked to use it in their lists of wins in their advertisements. The Ladies’ Prize was not a mere token either; a certain number of women had to take part in a rally for one to be given. It was not an award for showing up. This led to teams entering multiple female crews, in order to ensure that a prize would be awarded. This could be good news for female drivers, who got more chances to compete internationally, but it could also mean that once someone had picked up enough points to win, those drivers would be dropped from the team. Other tactics included deliberately pulling out of rallies, to make sure a rival was unable to score points.

The new ERC reinstated the Ladies’ Prize in 2015, with a less complicated set of rules.

Below is a list of the winners. Co-drivers’ names are given when known, and when they were a regular team-mate. Team names have been given when a driver used different cars during a season.

1953 Greta Molander (Saab 92)
1954 Sheila van Damm/Anne Hall (Sunbeam/Rootes team)
1955 Sheila van Damm/Anne Hall (Sunbeam/Rootes team)
1956 Nancy Mitchell (MG/BMC team)
1957 Nancy Mitchell (MG/BMC team)
1958 Pat Moss-Carlsson/Ann Wisdom (BMC)
1959 Ewy Rosqvist (Volvo)
1960 Pat Moss-Carlsson/Ann Wisdom (BMC)
1961 Ewy Rosqvist (Volvo)
1962 Pat Moss-Carlsson (BMC)
1963 Pauline Mayman/Valerie Domleo (BMC)
1964 Pat Moss-Carlsson (Saab 96)
1965 Pat Moss-Carlsson/Elisabeth Nyström (Saab 96)
1966 Sylvia Österberg (Volvo 122/Renault 8 Gordini)

2015 Ekaterina Stratieva/Julianna Nyirfás (Citroen C2/Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX)
2016 Catie Munnings/Anne Katharina Stein (Peugeot 208)


(Image from https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/mercedes-benz/classic/women-and-motor-racing/)


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