Local motorsports champion, Vanessa Ruck, also known as The Girl on a Bike, recently embarked on an exciting journey with the Bowler Customer Experience Program at Walters Arena. The program aims to transform complete novices into skilled rally drivers and navigators through a comprehensive training process.
The first part of the program involved familiarising Ruck with the Defender 110, followed by getting her hands on the Bowler rally car. The training began with a focus on navigation, as being a competent co-pilot is as important as driving the car itself. Ruck, who has previously participated in rallies, found the UK rally system's use of miles and English abbreviations to be a learning curve.
The program continued with a detailed, step-by-step guide to help participants understand the car's technology and engineering. This included learning how to switch between road mode, rally mode, and emergency mode to adapt to various situations that might arise during a race.
In addition to learning how to operate the vehicle, participants were also taught how to change a rally tire and respond to emergency scenarios. Ruck appreciated the hands-on approach, which allowed her to gain confidence in her abilities to handle any situation that may occur during a rally race.
Before getting behind the wheel, Vanessa teamed up with an experienced partner, Chris, who helped her understand how to read the terrain and navigate the course. Once familiar with the layout, Ruck moved into the driver's seat and took on the challenge of completing 20 laps around the track.
Though the experience was intense, Vanessa found it incredibly rewarding, saying, "I know I'm normally into motorbikes, but is that not an absolutely sexy beast?" The Bowler Customer Experience Program has equipped Ruck with some of the skills she needs to take on future rallies.