COM­PE­TI­TION

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE -

Win a week­end in Ed­in­burgh – and fly from Kent

THREE months ago she was a Kent County Coun­cil re­cep­tion­ist. Now Louise Cook is a full-time rac­ing driver but the rad­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion was not an easy one. For the 22-year-old Maid­stone racer, rac­ing in the Bri­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship Chal­lenge is the re­al­i­sa­tion of a life-long dream and years of ded­i­cated hard work. Af­ter com­pet­ing in Sil­ver­stone Rally School Lady Quest Com­pe­ti­tion at the age of 19, Louise suf­fered a mas­sive set­back in 2008 when she crashed in train­ing, break­ing her col­lar­bone and nine ribs. De­ter­mined to com­pete, she bat­tled back from in­jury, but has had to fight al­most as hard again to get enough spon­sor­ship to com­pete in this year’s BRC Chal­lenge – a feeder se­ries for the BRC it­self. She com­mit­ted her­self fully to her am­bi­tions in Fe­bru­ary when she gave up her job as a re­cep­tion­ist at Oak­wood House, Maid­stone. She raced in Kielder for­est in Carlisle, dubbed Killer Kielder, in the Cum­brian round of the BRC, and now has her sights on win­ning the com­pe­ti­tion out­right. The chal­lenge of rac­ing the no­to­ri­ous Cum­brian course, on which 16 driv­ers crashed or rolled this year, was made even tougher as Louise had been loaned a car and was un­der strict in­struc­tions to re­turn it in one piece. She man­aged it, com­ing in 12th out of 20 starters to claim her first points of the sea­son. Louise, from Sittingbourne Road, said: “It was the scari­est thing I have done and the most ex­cit­ing at the same time. I have heard for years about Killer Kielder and it’s car de­stroy­ing, so it did not help on the psy­cho­log­i­cal front. I was over the moon to fin­ish.” She added: “I am look­ing for­ward to Jim Clark now and be­ing out in my own car.” The Jim Clark rally takes place in the Scot­tish Bor­ders, south of Ed­in­burgh, at the end of May, and Louise still needs spon­sor­ship to en­ter. In­stead of fo­cus­ing on large £10,000 deals she has been ask­ing for just £50, whereby each £50 spon­sor is en­tered into a free prize draw to win prime spots on the car and a guar­an­teed spot. Find out more about the Maid­stone racer at www.cute­cookie.co.uk

Maid­stone rally driver Louise Cook

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