Cookie Takes 6th In Greece
Fiesta ST driver Louise Cook finished sixth in the Production World Rally Championship at the WRC Acropolis Rally Greece last weekend, leaving her fifth in the Championship with four events to go.
This is a superb result considering that the Acropolis is notorious as a car wrecker, and was only the second round of Louise’s WRC career.
British Female Rally Champion Cookie and her team knew that getting the showroom class Fiesta ST to the finish line was going to be tough, but to come away from the event 29th overall from 54 starters will be heartening.
Louise’s strategy for the Acropolis Rally was to see as many stages as possible, gain on her limited mileage and experience and to absorb the most that was possible from the event – and finishing would be a bonus.
“This season is about learning for me, learning the events, learning to write good pace notes for these stages and gradually improving in small steps to where I want to be,” says Louise.
“It was really difficult to get the right balance,” she adds. “I just wanted to go flat out, but I knew if I sacrificed seeing the stages for extra speed and fun on one stage, I would miss out on vital experience the Acropolis Rally had to give. If the car is on the trailer, I would learn nothing.”
The rally was made even tougher on the 170km Day 2, when Louise’s co-driver, Stefan, had food poisoning in the morning and was vomiting most of the way to the first stage.
“I had to stop a few times on the way while he did his bit to make the car lighter!” laughs Louise. “He did well to carry on.”
Day 3 on Saturday was full of the roughest stages of the rally, and Louise was lying in an amazing 5th place in the Production World Rally Championship despite being against superior machinery – Louise’s tactics were paying off.
Despite retiring during the day due to sensor plug failure, Louise just had to finish the final day to be classified. She dropped to 8th place after the previous day’s retirement but an overnight retirement of fellow PWRC competitor, Ligato in his Subaru Impreza, meant Louise would start the day in 7th. Louise focused on getting the car to the finish to claim maximum points.
The retirement of Mitsubishi Evo X driver Fuchs on the final day meant Louise gained an extra 2 points for her PWRC position, reinforcing her strategy to go safe and bring the car home.
“To be 6th in the Production World Rally Championship in a rally like this was something I never imagined, I was convinced that the Fiesta would not sustain the impacts the rally had to offer,” she said. “It would be great to return next year with a stronger car.”
Louise now looks on to the long haul to Rally New Zealand in less than a month where she will take the wheel of a rented Fiesta ST to gain experience of the cambered New Zealand roads.
Louise needs to raise £10k to compete at the next round in New Zealand – if you want to sponsor her or find out more, visit:
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on Friday, June 8th, 2012 at 3:58 pm under Fiesta, News.
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Tags: Fiesta, ST, WRC