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Just one week after the FIA Women in Motorsport Seminar in Lisbon, females are holding many high-level positions in Spain’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

FIA, Motorsport, Mobility, Road Safety, F1, WRC, WEC, WTCC, World RX

RallyRACC Rally de España 2016 has no fewer than 15 women as Senior Officials and for the first time in the FIA World Rally Championship - and the second time in the FIA’s world championships - an all-female Panel of Stewards will officiate.

The 2nd FIA Women in Motorsport Seminar last week brought together motor sport experts and ASN representatives from 43 countries to network, debate and discuss the challenges affecting women entering the sport at all levels and in all areas. One of the key topics focused on the vital role of officials and volunteers and, aside from all the female volunteers working as marshals on Spain’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship, many of the senior positions across sporting, medical, media and sponsorship, safety, results and time-keeping are managed by women.

Germany’s Waltraud Wűnsch chairs the Stewards in Spain and is accompanied by Sporting Director and Clerk of the Course for Sweden’s round of the series, Christina Lundqvist Viklund, and FIA Women in Motorsport Commission Ambassador, Silvia Bellot. Last week in Lisbon, the Spaniard - who is the only female Formula One Steward - campaigned for the value of motor sport officials and volunteers and has been nominated by the Reial Automobil Club de Catalunya (RACC) as the national steward for the seventh year. The Stewards of the Meeting are also supported by long-time WRC Secretary, Yvonne Gilli.

“It’s good to see this finally happening and it should be viewed as normal,” said Chairperson Waltraud Wűnsch. “We need to keep encouraging more women to step into senior official roles, not just stewarding. As we can see from Rally de España, women are represented in many different aspects of the rally that are vital to its smooth-running. Everyone has a role to play and can be part of motor sport, male or female, it doesn’t matter.”

From the sporting side, Marina Duñach holds the position of Deputy Clerk of the Course and is responsible for managing the organisational aspects of the event, leaving the Clerk of the Course focused on the running of the rally.

For Marina, running an event covering nearly 1,400 kilometres, 320 kilometres of which is competitive, is all about teamwork: “This is key to having a safe and smooth rally,” she says. “We spend many many hours together so understanding each other is also important; everyone has specific roles and working together is the only way everything can be perfectly managed.” 

FIA Women in Motorsport Commission President, legendary driver and former Vice World Rally Champion Michèle Mouton heads up the FIA’s safety team on WRC Events. As the FIA Safety Delegate she works hand in hand with the Clerk of the Course, Chief Safety Officer and his team to ensure the special stages are safe to run and that spectators, media and marshals are all safely positioned to enjoy the spectacle of the sport.

The all-important medical team is headed by two female doctors, as is the WRC’s media operation for the FIA and Rally de España. Two ladies are Special Stage Safety Chiefs, and the officials responsible for reconnaissance, equipment, sponsorship, Parc Fermé and the Service Park are also demonstrating that women can, and do hold positions at all levels and in all areas of motor sport.