WRC Champion Aitken-Walker to help in fight against COVID-19

1990 Ladies' Cup title winner will drive paramedics and transport supplies for those on frontline

Louise Aitken-Walker

Britain’s first World Rally Champion Louise Aitken-Walker is getting back behind the wheel in an effort to help those affected by the current coronavirus outbreak.

The Scotswoman, who won the 1990 FIA World Rally Championship Ladies’ Cup, has volunteered to drive paramedics or transport medical supplies around her area in the Scottish Borders.

Aitken-Walker told Scottish radio station Clyde 1: “I think this coronavirus is evil and I just want to help as much as I can.

“We’re all worried about our families, our employees, our friends and I think I can give a lot to this service by driving a doctor or nurse, or any key workers. When they get in the car, they can switch off or do some work, it takes the pressure off them.”

Aitken-Walker dominated the 1990 Ladies’ Cup, taking a perfect score with five wins from five rounds in Monte Carlo, New Zealand, Australia, Sanremo and on her home event, the RAC Rally.

She also survived one of the most terrifying rally crashes in history as she and co-driver Tina Thörner rolled their GM Euro Sport-run Opel Kadett GSI down a mountain and into lake on Rally Portugal.

They emerged unscathed and returned to competition less than two months later where cambelt failure ruled their Opel out of the Tour de Corse.

A year on from taking the title, Aitken-Walker moved to Ford (pictured), where she and co-driver Tina Thörner tackled two rounds of the British Open Championship – finishing third on the Welsh and fourth on the Scottish – before rounding the season out on the RAC Rally with her only top-10 finish on a WRC counter.

Aitken-Walker has driven sporadically since retiring from full-time competition and shared an ex-works Talbot Sunbeam Lotus with her daughter Gina Walker at the 2017 Rallylegend.

“I like to drive,” she added, “I always have done. I’m willing to drive anybody, anywhere at any time. I just feel for some families. It’s just a horrible time and we’ve all got to do our very best.

“I would love to give something back to the NHS because I think they’re wonderful and they’ve served me well in my rally career.

“Just to be clear this is as a volunteer, no payment required. Working together we will beat this virus. Heed the advice and keep safe.”

As well as lifting the World Championship in 1990, Aitken-Walker won the Coupe des Dames on the Monte Carlo Rally twice, became the first woman to win a British national rally outright in 1983 and took the Ladies’ European Rally Championship title as well.