Female drivers in the 2013 FIA European Rally Championship will have the opportunity to compete for a new Ladies' Trophy over the course of 11 events in the upcoming season.

The ERC Ladies' Trophy award will be presented at the ERC prize giving ceremony at the end of the year.

"Since the FIA has created the Women in Motor Sport Commission, we felt it was appropriate to do something at a high level in the ERC," explained Fran?ois Ribeiro, Motorsport Development Director at ERC promotor Eurosport Events.

"While female drivers take part on ERC events on an equal footing with their male counterparts, an award like this will provide an additional incentive for women to contest rounds of the ERC but also the opportunity to showcase their ability and achievement," he added.

The leading female driver in 2012 was Bulgaria's Ekaterina Stratieva, who was classified sixth in the final overall ERC standings. Her co-driver Carmen Poenaru from Romania was ranked sixth in the co-drivers' classification.

The first race eligible to contribute points to the new award will be the Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Ingl?s, the third round in this year's ERC season, which will take place on March 21-23.

Three points will go to the highest-placed female driver in the event, two to the second-placed and one to the third eligible contender. Positions will be based on the overall classification of each round, regardless of car performance.

The drivers will be allowed to count their best four scores, and do not have to be paired with a female co-driver to be eligible for points.

2013 FIA European Rally Championship races From round 3:

Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Ingl?s (Spain) - March 21-23 - Asphalt SATA Rallye A?ores (Portugal) - April 25-27 - Gravel Tour de Corse (France) - May 16-18 - Asphalt GEKO Ypres Rally (Belgium) - June 27-29 - Asphalt Rally San Marino - July 11-13 - Gravel Sibiu Rally (Romania) - July 25-27 - Gravel Barum Czech Rally Zl?n, - August 30-September 1 - Asphalt Rally Poland - September 13-15 - Gravel Croatia Rally- September 26-28 - Asphalt Rallye Sanremo (Italy) - October 10-12 - Asphalt Rallye International du Valais (Switzerland) - November 7-9 - Asphalt