Sat 22 Apr 2023

Remembering when Fernández made ERC history in Canarias

History was made when Rally Islas Canarias hosted the deciding round of the 2021 FIA European Rally Championship in November of that year.

Never before had a woman claimed the prestigious ERC Co-Drivers’ award but that changed when Sara Fernández took the crown by a mere two points ahead of Poland’s Szymon Gospodarczyk.

“I feel very happy and I want to thank all the team, all the mechanics, the engineer, all the people from Rallye Team Spain for their support,” Fernández said at the time. “It’s the prize for everything we have done and I want to say thank you also to my driver Efrén Llarena, who is very young and fast. For sure I have to learn more and I have to improve but this is a big step for my career.”

Spaniard Fernández would go on to make it back-to-back titles when Llarena clinched the ERC Drivers’ crown for Team MRF Tyres last season. And she will be going for a third consecutive ERC Co-Drivers’ title in the 2023 European championship, which continues on Rally Islas Canarias from 4 - 6 May.

“We have to think this year will be a very, very difficult season so we are looking forward to fight for the title,” the 37-year-old said. “Winning the championship is not only important for girls, but also for boys starting in rally. But I would like to know that girls can maybe improve with my performance.”

Fernández is one of a number of female co-drivers forging a strong reputation in the ERC. Others include Tania Canton, Jeannette Kvick, Virginia Lenzi, Mathilde Margaillan, Ilka Minor and Julia Thulin.

Meanwhile, Rachele Somaschini has followed drivers such as Emma Falcón, Tamara Molinaro, Catie Munnings, Ekaterina Statieva, Nabila Tejpar and Adrienn Vogel by competing in the ERC.

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM