In the latest feature on 2008 BRC registered competitors, the leading MSA Junior Championship driver Luke Pinder is featured along with one of the few female competitors in this year's Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship, Kim ...
In the latest feature on 2008 BRC registered competitors, the leading MSA Junior Championship driver Luke Pinder is featured along with one of the few female competitors in this year's Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship, Kim Baker.
Driver Luke Pinder
Lives Shipley, West Yorkshire
Car Ford Puma 1400 Kit (R2)
Co-driver Kim Baker
Lives Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Luke started competing in 1997, with ten events in the White Rose Auto Grass Championship in a Mini in 1998. The following year he took the Junior title and by 2000 he had won the Senior Championship, also passing his driving test ready to start rallying.
His choice of event in 2001 was somewhat limited by the outbreak of foot and mouth, but he still managed eight stage rallies, beginning with his local Kall Kwik event in a Peugeot 205. The remainder of the year saw a change to a Nova and in 2002 he won the stage rally championship at his local car club, Alwoody, adding the ANCC Junior Stage Rally Championship title too.
In 2003 he tried out a range of cars, staying with Vauxhall in an Astra on the Kall Kwik, but taking his best result with a class win on the North Humberside Rally in a Peugeot 106.
By 2004 he was becoming used to different driving styles and had tuition in left-foot braking techniques from former British Rally Champion Pentti Airikkala. He tried his hand at four wheel drive in an Escort Cosworth, contesting the Lookout and Riponian Stages, scoring a top twenty finish on the latter.
After having a selection of co-drivers, in 2005 he formed a partnership with Scottish born Kim Baker, with whom he won the Peugeot 206 1400 one-make Rally Championship after a dominant season.
In 2006 Luke competed in the Peugeot again, also helping TMS, who ran the championship, to develop the new Citroen C2R2. This was also the year when he first tried the British Rally Championship' support series, the Stars of the Future in a Polo. His season was topped and tailed with disappointment though, retiring on both the Pirelli and Rally GB, Britain's round of the World Rally Championship.
Mechanic Luke had previously formed an alliance with Chris Birkbeck Rallysport, working at the rally school as a relief instructor, and in 2007 Chris built and ran a development Ford Ka for him in the Silverstone Tyres Stars 1400 Rally Championship. This time partnered by Martyn Taylor, he took a fine victory and with it a funded drive on Rally GB. It was a gruelling event for the pair, but they guided the car to the finish, winning class N1 on the final round of the 2007 WRC.
Part of the Challenge prize was assistance with entry fees in the 2008 Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship, so the team put together a deal with Birkbeck to run a 1400cc Ford Puma Kit car in the Rally 2 class.
Re-united with Kim Baker for this year, Luke jointly leads the prestigious MSA Junior Championship category after three rounds, on equal points with Denmark's Niki Bjerg. They also hold second in the Rally 2 class, just two points adrift of the lead, but the season has not been perfect so far, with some potentially excellent results spoiled with niggling car troubles.
Born on the Isle of Mull off Scotland's west coast, Kim began co-driving at 16 on her home event, the Tour of Mull in 2000. Since then she has gained substantial experience, working with a number of drivers. In 2005 she competed alongside Luke, taking three class wins and helping him to clinch the Peugeot 206 1400 Championship.
She continued to hone her co-driving and driving skills during 2006, winning a scholarship for lady drivers. This enabled the Sports Psychology student to drive her Peugeot 205 to class victory in the 2007 East Midlands Rally Championship in her first full season. In addition Kim has also worked for the Mitsubishi Motors UK team in the British Rally Championship. This, coupled with more co-driving experience in 2007, has given her a greater appreciation of the sport, allowing her to improve her on-event skills as a co-driver.
The team is supported by Birkbeck Rallysport, RDL, City Transport and Storage, Bretts Fish Restaurant, Dealer Update, Luke racing / Corbeau seats and LA fitness (Yeadon).