Old rally, new car: Stratieva impresses on ERC return
Ekaterina Strateiva made her 11th start on Barum Czech Rally Zlín – and just missed out on winning the ERC Ladies’ Trophy on her first appearance in a Peugeot 208 R2.
Stratieva completed a late deal to contest her favourite round of the FIA European Rally Championship earlier this month. Despite her absence of car experience, the Bulgarian made the most of her knowledge of the sealed-surface stages to take the fastest time in class outright eight times, eventually finishing second to Nabila Tejpar by 7.2s after an engine issue led to a 20-second time penalty.
“This participation was not planned and without the support from my fans and partners we couldn’t have started,” said Stratieva, the 2015 ERC Ladies’ Trophy winner. “In recent years I have not been actively competing, but that has not prevented me from wishing and fighting for a place in the top three.
“It was a pleasure for me to compete with the leading lady, Nabila Tejpar, and this weekend gave me the impetus and hope for a serious return in 2020.”
Photo supplied by Ekaterina Stratieva