Louise's career began in 1979 when she was entered in Ford's 'Find a Lady Rally Driver' competition, without her knowledge, by her two brothers and was a winner from 2000 entrants. It spanned fourteen years up to 1993 when she retired to have a family. During those years she was the first woman to win a National Rally outright, survived a horrific crash in Portugal and became the first, ever British driver to win a world title - FIA Ladies World Rally Champion.
Below are Louise's achievements, in more detail, along with some photographs that may be of interest.
The Monte Carlo Rally 1990
|1981||Entered first Lombard RAC Rally - finished 19th overall|
|1982||Won Group One category in National British Championship|
|1983||Won Coupe des Dames in Monte Carlo Rally driving Alfa Romeo Won National 'Peter Russek' Rally in Ford Escort First woman to win a national rally and awarded Pirelli Diamond for outstanding achievement in motor sport. Selected by RAC to drive for British Junior Rally Team|
|1984||Finished 3rd in British National Championship|
|1985||Signed by Peugeot to drive in British Open Championship Placed third and won class Won class and Ladies Trophy in Lombard RAC Rally|
|1986||Drove Nissan 240RS on British Open Rally Championship. Eventually finished 15th overall on RAC Rally, was last after 7th stage due to an accident!!|
|1987||Achieved 5 wins from 5 events in British Open Championship to collect maximum points to win class title. Climbed to 7th overall on snowy RAC Rally capturing hearts of TV viewers before fracturing Peugeot's oil filter and retiring before BBC cameras. Voted National Driver of the year by readers of Autosport|
|1988||No. 1 driver for Peugeot. Second overall in Cartel International Rally Fifth in British Championship|
|1989||Signed by GM Vauxhall Team. Won 2 litre class in British Open Championship, also contested full season in British Touring Car Championship with class wins at Silverstone and Thruxton. Won Ladies Cup on Lombard RAC Rally Ladies European Rally Champion|
|1990||Signed by GM Eurosport to contest World Rally Championship. Won Coup des Dames on Monte Carlo (11th overall) also Ladies Cup on New Zealand Rally, Rally Australia and Rally of Italy. Survived horrific crash in Portugal when car somersaulted into a deep lake Won Asia Pacific Ladies Rally Championship First ever British Rally Driver to win a world title. Presented with Driver of the Year Award by Guild of Motoring Writers. FIA Ladies World Rally Champion|
|1991||Signed by Ford Motor Company to drive a Group A Sapphire Cosworth in British Open Championship and Lombard RAC Rally Finished 10th overall Top British Driver on Lombard RAC Rally and Ladies Award for fourth time Awarded the Jim Clark Trophy for best performance in motor sport by a Scot Also the Seagrave Trophy for highest achievement by a British Subject in any form of transport|
|1992||Awarded the MBE in Queen's New Year Honours list. Signed by Ford to drive an 'all green' Group N Ford Sapphire Cosworth|
|1993||Retired to have family, son John, James and Gina Margaret.|
|1997-2003||Various PR work for manufacturers and companies, one project which Louise loves is to drive the opening car on The Jim Clark Memorial Rally which is the mainland's only closed road event jointly organised by Berwick & District Motor Club (Louise is Vice President of the Club and Andrew Cowan is President). In the past Louise has driven one of Andrew's Ralliart Mitsubishi's and latterly as the Rally is in the British Rally Championship and was sponsored by Seat.
Louise got to drive a Seat World Rally Car. One of the stages goes right past Langton Mill the farm where Louise was brought up. Louise always comments that it is strange going past your own door at over 110mph but adds it's great fun!
|2002||Along with Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, Jim Clark OBE and Bob McIntyre (motor cycle racing) Louise was among the first 50 to be inducted into the new "Scottish Sports Hall of Fame".
This shows Scotland's sporting heritage over the last 200 years and covers all sports, there were four inductees from Motorsport.
One of the things Louise would like to get more involved with in the future is the tuition of young drivers and at the present time is looking at the best way to try and do this. For Manufacturers and Companies, later in 2003 Louise is doing some corporate driving days and driving tuition for individuals who want to learn the art of car control.
Photographs from Louise's Career