Louise Aitken-Walker was one of Britain's most successful rally and saloon car drivers, enjoying a glittering 14-year career that culminated in her becoming the first-ever female world rally champion.
Born in Duns, Berwickshire, her career began when her brothers secretly entered her into Ford’s Find A Lady Driver competition in 1979 – and she went on to beat 2,000 other entrants to take first prize.
Two years later she finished 19th in her first Lombard RAC rally and went on to compete in string of national and international rallies. In 1983, she won the first of her two Coupe des Dames in the Monte Carlo Rally and became the first woman to win a national rally outright in Britain.
Selected by the RAC to drive for the British Junior Rally Team, she continued to make her mark on the domestic and international circuit and in 1989 was crowned Ladies European Champion.
In 1990, she suffered a horrific accident when her car somersaulted into a deep lake in Portugal. But she recovered and later that year became the first British driver to win a world rally title – the FIA World Rally Championship Ladies Cup – driving for GM Eurosport.
After being awarded the MBE in 1992, Louise retired the following year to have a family.
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