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Cook climbs up to 7th in WRC3 Championship

 
- Slept in the recce car all week
- Gained 15 points from Rally Deutschland
- Now 7th place in the WRC3 standings
- 2 weeks until scheduled to leave for Rally Turkey
- A crowdfunding page setup: http://cutecookie.co.uk/crowdfunding/
It is a tough fight to survive in rally sport, not getting to Rally Finland hurt and it was one hell of a job to make it to WRC Rally Germany, but we did make it, thanks to amazing support.
 
We reached out to lots of potential sponsors and we also launched a crowdfunding campaign to give the public a chance to support if they wanted to. We were grateful to gain the support of Be Wiser Insurance Services, NGK and United Worldwide Logistics for WRC Rally Germany, and with some additional Grand Opportunity supporters, plus the crowdfunding, we had a chance to be there.

We did not quite raise the full budget needed and so we had to sleep in the recce car for the week. It was not the best place to get rested and it is hard on the body when you can not lie flat, but we were there and competing and that was everything.
We had no budget or time for testing the new car, so, we had 2 slow runs at the 6km shakedown stage to get used to the car. It was nowhere near enough and the turbo car felt very different to anything I had driven before. It is always nice to have time in your car before an event and tweak the setup to work with you the best.
 
We had not been on tarmac for 6 years and never used the Michelin Pilot tarmac tyres before, they were great tyres, we just had to figure out quickly which compounds to use on which stages and how to get the most from them.
 
I have no idea why, but the organisers seeded us way off our fellow WRC3 competitors. They said for safety reasons, but catching cars in the stage felt far from safe. The sad thing is though, on stage 3, the seeding gap to our WRC3 competitors meant they went through the stage bone dry and we had torrential rain,and with no wet tyres, we lost loads of time, we lost minutes not seconds.
We had problems with the handbrake and also the foot brake going to the floor, pretty scary at times, wrecks your confidence a bit for the next big braking zone and I had to tap the pedal a few times along the straights to get the pedal back. The team found the problem at the night service, the handbrake master cylinder was playing around. It definitely did not help with all the hairpins in the vineyards.
 
It was the notorious army base stages for Saturday, that place has claimed a few victims in its time. The Panzerplatte stage has so many surfaces it is really hard to trust everything 100%. We took a cut that everyone before looked to have taken, but we nicked the tyre and we got a puncture. We tried to drive on, but it was too bad, we dropped so much time finding somewhere safe to stop and change it.
 
It was a long stage and we were also suffering with the brakes still, we had warped discs and they were wobbling away, pushing the brake pads further away when we were not using them. So every time we hit the brakes, it created a long travel on the pedal just to get some bite from the brakes, it can be a little scary when you are braking from high speed.
 
The team changed the discs at the Saturday night service and refreshed the pads ready for the Sunday.
I had good brakes on Sunday and it gave me a chance to attack more. We set a fastest time in WRC3 on the Grafschaft vineyard stage which was nice. We still have a long way to go but it is still nice. It wasn’t a clean stage either, we caught the car in front of us again for a few minutes and lost a good amount of time because it was really hard to see when all the dust from the gravel cuts on the corners is in the air. You have a vineyard wall one side and all the vines on the other. I had to back off a lot, so to still set the fastest WRC3 time on the board by 0.9 seconds was cool.
We came away with 15 points towards the championship for 3rd place in WRC3 and we are now in 7th position from the 23 drivers in the WRC3 championship standings.
 
Now we have an empty finance pot for Rally Turkey and only two weeks to make it come together, the pressure is on again to make all the efforts count.
 
We have launched a crowd funding page for the event and are looking for sponsors to be involved for the rally so if you are interested to know more you can contact me at [email protected]
 
http://cutecookie.co.uk/crowdfunding/
Posted by Louise Cook on 07 September 2018 15:00

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