December 12 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Maidstone driver Louise Cook goes to desperate measures to compete at New Zealand rally.
Maidstone rally driver Louise Cook is hoping to sell her trophies on Ebay to fund her entry into the New Zealand Rally Championship.
Cook, the British Ladies Rally Champion, needs to raise £17,000 in order to enter the event which takes place on on June 21-24, and if she fails she will be excluded from the World Rally Championship, and will face a £60,000 fine for missing the remaining four rounds, as well as losing her licence until she can pay.
She said: “It was a brave step, maybe too brave, but I believe you can only go for things whole heartedly and give them everything to make them work.”
The rules of the WRC mean drivers must nominate their rounds at the beginning of the year and Cook chose only one of the long haul rallies from the three available on the calendar in order to minimise the cost and to maximise the time between Rallye Monte-Carlo and the second round of the championship to try to build a window to bring in the required sponsorship.
She said: “I am on the phone night and day at the moment to gain some support. The UK by day and New Zealand by night. I am trying everything but the budget is huge for New Zealand Rally. It is not easy at the moment and a lot of businesses are struggling, not a good time to try and take the biggest step of your career, but if I waited for all the stars to line up, the opportunity would just pass me by.
“It is a bit extreme to some, but there is only one trophy I want in my collection and that is the World Rally Championship Trophy. If I have to trade my trophies right now to get where I need to get to, then I am willing to accept that. They may even be worth a lot of money one day.”
Cook is currently fifth in the Production World Rally standings, but that would count for nothing if she is excluded from the series.
“It would be my rally career over in an instant,” she said. “There is no way I could pay that sort of fine and I can not let the situation happen.
“If anyone out there who is in a position to help and wants to promote their business through myself and the World Rally Championship then please do not hold back, please get in touch as soon as you can.”
If you would like more information on how you may be able to help Louise Cook please email email@example.com or visit www.cutecookie.co.uk/sponsorship.htm.