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Rallying

Louise Aitken-Walker world rally champion 1990

In 1990 the pair were offered the opportunity to drive for the GM Eurosport team for a full season in the World Rally Championship. It was an opportunity not to be missed and Louise won the Monte Carlo “Coupe des Dames” for the second time and the Ladies Cup in the rallies of New Zealand, Australia and Italy. She was fortunate to escape with her life after a terrible crash in Portugal, which saw her car somersault into a lake, but soon recovered to win the Asia-Pacific Ladies title.

Not surprisingly, given her successes throughout the season, she won the FIA Ladies World Championship, and her achievement was recognised by the Guild of Motor Writers, who named her “Driver of the Year”, and by the BBC who awarded her a unique “Good Sport” prize at their annual Sports Personality of the Year ceremony.

In 1992 Louise finished 10th overall in the Lombard RAC Rally, not only winning the Ladies Award for a fourth time, but also finishing as top British driver. Scottish motor-sport recognised her success by awarding her the “Jim Clark Memorial Trophy” for best performance in motor-sport by a Scot and she was also the recipient of the “Seagrave Trophy” awarded for the most notable achievement by a Briton in any form of transport .

She was also awarded the MBE in the New Years Honours list 1992 before retiring in 1993 to have a family and concentrate on her business affairs.

Nine years after her retirement, she was named as one of the 50 inaugural members of the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame.

Written by: Dave Low

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