Mystery trophy buyer becomes sponsor
Louise contested the World Rally Championship to great success in 2012 whilst making World Rally history in becoming the first female to gain a non-gender based FIA Rally Title. This came with many sacrifices for Cook, parting with her beloved trophies was one of those sacrifices, including her British Female Rally Champion Trophy.
The trophy story had captured the heart of a local Kent businessman, Stephen King, who runs PHSC plc. The company provides health, safety and security solutions across the UK. Stephen felt like he needed to help, and bid for the trophies on the auction site eBay, raising over £2,000 for Louise’s WRC campaign and helping her make it to WRC Rally New Zealand and avoid the menacing 16,000 Euro non-appearance fine.
The Kent driver has been fighting to secure enough funding for a return to competition, despite Louise’s renowned sporting success and a good number of local and national companies sponsoring. The FIA rule changes at the end of the 2012 season meant that Louise’s budget doubled and with her existing rally car being ruled out, the only option left to compete was to upgrade to a more expensive class of rally car.
Trophy buyer Stephen saw an opportunity to promote one of the businesses in PHSC plc’s portfolio, B to B Links, a security solution provider that offers retail security and CCTV systems nationwide.
“Louise’s profile will help us gain extra brand exposure. CCTV is just one of the services that we offer, are is a widely used technology. So, with Louise’s public following and existing business relationships, it made perfect sense for B to B Links to be involved.” Said Stephen.
“Any sport is tough at world level, though Motorsport has more challenges. It is not like most other sports where talent can freely rise to the top and there are many barriers to young talent. The cost to be in the right machinery and the driving time needed to gather experience and give the chance to prove talent is extremely high. It would be great to see more companies supporting this incredible story” said Stephen.
It is a make or break time for the Kent driver. Louise has endured over two years of constant fund raising to return to the World Rally Championships and things are not getting any easier.
“It is a tough part, the toughest in fact. I am flat out day and night calling anyone I can find on the internet, sending emails and meeting as many people as I can. I have not competed since 2012 so it is hard to remember the feelings of driving to keep me inspired, I just rely on the fire in my belly to keep me going.” Said Louise.
“It is a tragedy that no female has broken through into the top flight of motorsport for so long. I honestly feel right now, if I do not break this barrier I don’t know who will.” Said Louise.
The Kent driver has a tough quest before her WRC return on June 11th for Rally Italia Sardegna, with half the budget still to find, Louise asks anyone who would like to help to get in touch or visit her website www.louisecook.com for details about the wide variety of ways to be involved.