Louise Cook was the first female to gain an FIA championship award thus proving her racing credentials beyond doubt. But as is so often the case for fast female racers, it’s the young men that get the sponsorship ahead of them, despite evidence of equal driving ability.
After a racing related injury resulted in an operation to her arm in 2012, Louise struggled to raise the funds to return to the Wales Rally GB Championship (WRC) but thought she had this cracked for 2015. Until a major set-back prevented her from making it through to the Rally Italia Sardinia round in June…
“I couldn’t believe my bad luck, I was so looking forward to making it to the WRC Rally GB” she told us.
This is what happened, in Louise’s words.
“I was trying out a new racing seat and after tightening up the harnesses as normal I noticed a strange pain and then numbness in my arm. I tried the straps a few times and it kept on happening. I’d not paid too much attention to twinges since my operation as I’d been told this was a likely effect die to nerves. In fact I’d been driving happily ever since and had even tested a Mini World Rally Car, the fastest type of car in my sport, whilst coaching movie star Idris Elba for his BBC documentary.”
“But this was different. At supper one night I was in real pain, followed by numbness and then my arm started to turn purple… I went straight to hospital to get it looked at and was told not to move my arm too much and definitely not to lift it up, in case of further injury to the vessels or nerves. I clearly couldn’t race like that and was heartbroken after all the work that had gone on after a two year battle getting race fit and raising funding.”
“An Orthopaedic surgeon at Maidstone Hospital said that it was unlikely that the clavicle plate was causing the problem after two years so it must be something else. I saw everyone I could think of – Neurosurgeons, Orthopaedic Surgeons and Vascular Surgeons. I had XRays, Ultra Sound scans, MRI’s, CT’s and throughout all this the pain was constant.”
Louise finally got her diagnosis when a CT Angiogram showed that a surgical screw from the previous operation was stuck in her Subclavian artery and was obstructing blood flow.
Louise has since had the clavicle plate removed and is now on the mend and fit to drive her road car again.
Louise needs sponsorship
“It will take time to find new sponsorship but I won’t give up. I was hoping for momentum and results from this year to attract the support of other businesses. It feels like I am starting all over again, especially after losing so much money on the events and not being able to go at the last moment.”
Let’s hope Louise gets some good luck to balance her misfortune. She now needs financial support to fulfil her driving ambition and carry the motorsport baton into 2016 on behalf of fast female racers.
We’ll certainly be following her progress.
If you would like to become a commercial sponsor and enjoy lots of associated benefits, please check out the WRC Sponsorship Packages for 2016.