RDS Global sponsored talented driver Louise Cook as she took on the tough Wales Rally GB – famed for being one of the most challenging in the world, helping her on the road to achieving her dream of becoming the first female to become World Rally Champion. The support mirrors the firm’s ethos of championing women in technology and fighting for a more inclusive, equal world.
It was a welcome gesture for the motorsport star, one of only two women in the event, who has previously resorted to auctioning off her trophies to fund her ambition.
The RDS logo was emblazoned on Louise’s Ford Fiesta R2 and her suit. RDS’ director Phil Harvey, a rally navigator himself, jumped at the chance to help Louise after spotting her appeals for funding help online.
The event, which kicked off in Liverpool city centre, was the 13th World Rally start for Louise, who hails from Maidenstone, Kent and is the first female to gain the non-gender Federation Internacionale de L’Automobile (FIA) Rally Championship Trophy.
But the dramas started early, with the city’s rush-hour traffic leading to seven minutes of time penalties on the road section and no time to fit a lamp pod to the car as planned for the later Oulton Park stage in Cheshire.
The lack of lighting slowed Louise and her navigator Stefan Davis down. Then as the rally headed into Snowdonia on the second day, Louise felt the Fiesta’s handling wasn’t as it should be, before losing two rear bearing bolts and then the wheel. A slow puncture mid-stage also affected stage times.
But Louise was glad to finish, saying: “I drove accordingly. It’s never nice to not fully attack the stages, but there was nothing to gain, only to lose.
“You have to put your ego to one side sometimes. It was obviously nice to finish the event and drive over the finish ramp, it’s better than being collected from a ditch in the forest. I am truly grateful to everyone that made it happen, for the support of companies like RDS Global, we couldn’t have done it without them.”
Phil said: “We’re proud to be sponsoring and supporting talented British driver, Louise Cook.
“She performed fantastically and, in true rallying style, overcame a host of challenging situations both from a technical perspective as well as handling and overcoming treacherous driving conditions in a highly competitive environment.”
He added: “When we think of successful rally drivers, do many of us think of women? Perhaps not. But Louise is an example of how we should not overlook people or discourage them from entering a profession because of their gender. This is absolutely the case when it comes to the technology sector and the wider business community.”