Alba Cano joins the new TCR Spain
Spanish driver Alba Cano will enter the new TCR Spain championship in its inaugural weekend at Navarra in a Monlau Repsol-entered Cupra Leon Competition.
As part of the popular Spanish Racing Weekend, a new touring car series will get underway this weekend at Circuit de Navarra: TCR Spain starts its inaugural round, and will do so with two female drivers on the grid.
Michelle Halder, 21-year old from Germany, is surely not an unknown face in the world of touring cars. Having won a race in Zandvoort in 2019 in the ADAC TCR Germany, she became the first woman to step on top of the podium in the series. She then went on to repeat the achievement in the continental series in 2020, when she claimed victory in Zolder.
Racing for her family-run team Halder Motorsport, both the Halder brothers – Michelle and Mike – switched from the TCR Europe to the brand-new TCR Spain in 2021.
But the grid of the newly-born series – this year shared with the CET RACE championship – will also feature another female racing driver: Alba Cano.
The 28-year old from Malaga will compete in a Cupra run by the Monlau Repsol team.
“For Monlau Repsol it is a great satisfaction to be able to compete in the TCR Spain, within the framework of the Racing Weekend, which has the support of the Royal Spanish Automobile Federation." - said Jaime Serrano, General Director of Monlau Repsol Technical School. The team in fact includes professional technicians, teachers and trainees of the team's technical school – an educational project for motorsport's professionals.
Cano is also no touring car rookie and was part of the championship-winning outfit at the 2017 24H Series, where she was crowned in the TCE category. In 2018, she claimed class-victory in the 24 hours of Barcelona – also part of the CREVENTIC's 24H Series championship – before moving to the national CER series, a touring car endurance category. She would secure class title in 2019, becoming the first ever woman to clinch a TCR-sanctioned title.
“The CUPRA Leon Competición is a new car to me, as I’m not used to the sequential gearbox." - Alba said after the collectoive test 10 days ago. "The feeling with the car was great, it was immediately there!", she added, before the official confirmation of her full-season entry.
A former national karting champion and a mechanical engineer herself, Alba Cano is set to be one of the high-profile names in the 2021 TCR Spain championship, which will consist of five rounds on the most important Spanish racing venues: Navarra, Jarama, Aragon, Valencia and Montmelo.
“The TCR Spain format will allow our team to return to its origins and go back to the concept of sprint races, of pure speed and not so much of endurance and strategy like we were used to lately”, commented David Simón, director of the Department of Motorsports Competition at Monlau Repsol Technical School. The new format includes in fact three races of 20 minutes + 1 lap each.
The Racing Weekend will be broadcasted live on the Spanish Federation's YouTube channel and, nationally, by Teledeporte de TVE and La Liga Sports TV.