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Louise Cook, from Kent, the only female in the World Rally Championship has opened up about feeling pushed out. The 29 year old listed her FIA WRC Production Cup trophy on eBay to make the first round this year after two major sponsors delayed their plans 5 days before the entry fees deadline. The supporters crowdfunding donations poured in to save the young drivers hard earned trophy and even helped her to compete in the first event. On returning from the rally Louise had more bad news, the sponsors marketing plans are delayed further.

“I have had the most interest and media coverage in my whole career”

“To have these conversations is so disappointing. I was so hopeful that by the time the second round was here, they would be in a better position with the extra time frame, but it just isn’t the case. I have had to start from scratch again to fundraise for Rally Corsica which is now only one week away. I am still incredibly short and scarily running out of time. I have had the most interest and media coverage in my whole career, which I am so grateful for, yet finding sponsorship is the toughest yet.”

More people tuned in globally to watch Louise Cook’s WRC Rally Sweden features on the BBC, Channel 5 and Skysports than a whole season’s UK TV audience of the premier league but Louise has not had any further luck with securing the needed sponsors.

“Sponsorship is not easy for anyone. It is relentless. I think when you say you want to be the next World Champion like Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button it takes less imagination because it has already been achieved, though when you say you want to be the first female to be World Rally Champion it is harder for people to imagine.”

According to the Women in Sport organisation, less than 1% of all sports sponsorship goes to females in all sports and with motor sport being so financially dependent this could be why a female has not broken through yet to the top flight.

“We smashed our estimated season reach of 10 million”

“To be in this position on only the second round is frustrating. I have always been creative with lots of different support and sponsorship packages to suit loads of budget levels, it is just  the amount I have to find per round is unreal. The platform that the World Rally Championship allows drivers to offer companies is amazing. We smashed our estimated season audience reach of 10million from the first event alone, which is incredible.”

A combined TV and social media global audience of 80 million tuned in to watch Louise Cook’s eventful WRC Rally Sweden.

“If I am not in the World Rally Championship this year, then 100% of the drivers will be male”

“If I am not in the World Rally Championship this year, then 100% of the drivers will be male, it is supposed to be a mixed sport. We are in 2017, it is just not right! It has not been an easy journey so far and I know what lies ahead will be tougher. The better you get in motorsport and the more you climb the ladder means the larger the budget is you have to find. For now, my target is WRC Rally Corsica (Tour de Corse)”

With £25,000 still to find for Rally Corsica in just one week, Louise is still working night and day to find and secure sponsors. Louise has a variety of sponsorship packages to tell the world about and urges people to get in contact should they wish to be involved at team@rallyteamgb.com

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