The 2013 season is set to be Cook's toughest test yet. The World Rally Championship has made big changes for 2013, gone of the Production World Rally Championship and Super World Rally Championship now to be replaced with new championship categories of WRC3 and WRC2.
The Production World Rally Championship now being replaced with WRC3 as undergone the biggest change. The regulation change as seen the dropping of 4WD production based vehicles such as the Subaru Impreza and the Mitsubishi Lancer being replaced with the new bread of R class cars. The R class cars are cars specifically designed for rally and the higher the R number the higher the machine specification i.e. R1 basic spec and R5 the top R spec. WRC3 class is only open to the front wheel drive machines being R1, R2 and R3 type cars.
The difficulty is a top class WRC3 car, being a R3 variant is significantly more costly than a car that would compete for outright victory
in the previous PWRC class. A 4WD Production World Rally Championship car would be around £50,000 with a new class leading competitive car for WRC3, an R3 variant would be a more substantial cost of around £80,000.
Cook is planning to contest the 2013 season to develop her experience and talents further with a compromise R2 class car and look to upgrade to the R3 class in the 2014 season.
“It is not ideal, we had a 3 year plan to win PWRC. This year was about gaining 4 wheel drive experience then challenging for the PWRC championship in 2014. We have had to adapt to the changes and 2013 is taking the same route but now in a slightly different way. Staying with a front wheel drive car for 2013 will give me more pace long term. The 4 wheel drive machines give a lot more grip and if you learn to go quickly with less grip in 2 wheel drive, it should be easier in some ways to push the 4 wheel drives to the limit later on.” Said Louise.