HERO-ERA selects first winner of Bob Rutherford Historic Rally Scholarship
Fifteen-year-old Danielle Pool from Exmouth has been selected as the first-ever recipient of the Bob Rutherford Scholarship, set up by HERO-ERA in memory of the late Bob Rutherford and his passion to inspire the next generation of rally navigators.
Danielle, who ran in the course-opening car on the Exmouth Memorial Road Rally and helps maintain a family Super 16 Vauxhall Corsa rally car, wants to take navigation to a professional level. She was selected from a tough field of five following a ‘Shoot Out’ for Young Navigators at Bicester Heritage at the end of August. Danielle now wins full training, free entry into four HERO-ERA 2024 rallies to navigate a top driver, plus selected Motorsport UK Academy courses. She also wins the original Bob Rutherford navigational magnifying ‘poti’.
“I don’t think it’s real, I don’t believe it,” Danielle commented. “I think all of the other competitors were great and could have won but it hasn’t really sunk in yet. I want to aim for a full season in the future, but after the rallies next year maybe see where I can progress, but this is a tremendous opportunity and I am so grateful to HERO-ERA.”
HERO-ERA Competition Director Guy Woodcock added: “Danielle will go on in leaps and bounds as she gains experience. It is great seeing the young talent coming through, this has been great success in the name of my close friend Bob Rutherford and we will keep pushing to bring the youngsters into this sport as he was always trying to do. We need the navigators with the young brains and Danielle is the first of many as the inaugural winner.”
Will Rutherford, son of Bob, in whose name and memory the scholarship was created, said: “This has been a most successful shoot out with a deserving first scholarship winner. Nothing stood out for Dad more than getting young people into rallying. He was always encouraging others, so to have five such fine finalists competing for a scholarship in his name is truly fitting. They were all of a high calibre and will all benefit from the experience and hopefully go on to compete in the navigator’s seat in future events as HERO-ERA continue to foster young talent.
“We wanted to put something positive back into the sport after we lost dad. So the best way possible is to get young people into the sport. He was always very driven into trying to encourage and support newcomers into the sport, especially young people. So if we can bring something positive out of this situation and make it exciting and fun for the young then we will encourage more to come into the sport.”