Mónica and Marta Plaza, the fast sisters

It’s in their blood. Competition in vein. Because from the very day they were born, Monica and Marta saw their father, Manolo Plaza, grab the helmet, overalls and gloves to compete or cross some desert. The man from Cuenca is one of the most experienced Spaniards in the Dakar (15 participations), and now his daughters come together to, as pilot and co-pilot, try to achieve the national All Terrain title.

But they are not new, since Mónica has been competing as a co-driver since 2015 (in the Dakar with her father), and since 2021 racing in the Spanish TT Championship behind the wheel. Marta has also been racing as a co-driver for five years, and Last year they came together to run and win at home, Cuenca, in the penultimate round of the Nacional, where they achieved victory. And from March 24, when the 2023 season begins in Jaén, they will join forces to fight for the title at the wheel of a Toyota Hilux T1-N from the Avatel Racing Team.

“This year we’re not going on the ocean liner,” Mónica jokes. “Now we are going on a yacht. Last year’s car weighed 3.4 tonnes and this season’s weighs considerably less. I will need a period of adaptation because the way of driving them is different. The objective cannot be other than to go out and win. We have experience and have shown a fast pace, although off-road a lot can happen. We face the season with great enthusiasm, and the fact of running with Marta is an extra motivation”.

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“It is a special challenge. A very nice project that we live with feeling and passion. But, above women, we are sisters, and we feel equal ”, assures Marta on the eve of Women’s Day. “We are trying to eliminate the female category,” explains Mónica. “It is as if a redhead, for being redheaded, had a special category. In other sports, such as cycling or taekwondo, to give two examples, it may be fine”.

“The last name sometimes helps, but others weighs down”, explain to their proud father. “You have to be good because of the last name.” But Manolo acknowledges that “in the first race the fear was that they would argue, which is something very easy in a race between driver and co-driver. In the Dakar I have seen people get out of the same car and start hitting each other”.

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