Monday, August 3, 2009

Girl Racer


Ever wanted to go racing - even if it was just in the local carpark late at night? We spoke to Carly Black who enjoys racing once you read her story below you will be heading for the track too!

It’s 4.45am Saturday 25th July... RACE DAY! I hate getting up before the sun but race day is something different.

I have to drive my race car to the track today (thanks to the RTA’s Unregistered Vehicle Permit).
I hop into my Peugeot 206 GTI 180 and begin the journey to Oran Park.
It’s a huge race meeting this weekend at the Festival of Sporting Cars, 250 entrants! This weekend I’m racing against my Father in a Peugeot 306 GTI6 and my Husband Franck who’s driving a WRX STi 2 door (too fast for me!)

Nerves begin to build as I’m waiting for the practice session to start... ‘why do I do this’ I often think, ‘the nerves are almost unbearable!’
The horn sounds and 28 cars move out for practice. Car goes well, feels great. I qualify to begin in 22nd position (not as good as I would have hoped but not too bad)
First race I get a good start, take 4 cars off the line ... ‘Ah yes, this is why I race... I love it!’ 2 laps in engine problem! OH NO! I pull to the side and watch the rest of the race from the tyre wall.
Thank god my husband is a European Car Specialist, he has my car going smoothly and ready for the next race in under 30 minutes!

Race 2 I start from the rear of the grid having not finished race 1.
Lights go off and we take off from the starting line... yes! Good start again. The car drives really well, no hiccups, this feels great. Pass another 2 cars yes... keep going. Final lap come around to the chequered flag, 19th! I’m happy with that.

Uh oh, here comes the rain... it’s pouring down! A wet race ahead.
Nerves kick in again, but I feel ok. I don’t have much experience in the wet so I’m just going to go out and have some fun, take it easy I don’t expect to do very well.

Race starts, hey I passed 2 people... my dad is right on my tail, he drives really well in the wet. He gets me on the next corner, I’m going to try and keep up with him. Other cars start spinning off the track in every direction, big powerful Commodores and Falcons are going slower... what’s going on?
Passed another car, this is quite good. Dad’s still in front but he’s not leaving me behind
170kph down the straight into turn one... where’s the corner... I can’t see... car on the inside, got to avoid it!
Yes... Passed another car! Wow the track’s slippery, so much more water than the last race.
Final lap, can I get past this car? No, he’s just a little too fast for me, chequered flag comes down, 9th overall! Wow, I can’t believe it, never thought I’d make up that many places... what a great weekend!

Some people ask me why I race, why would you want to be involved in such a ‘male’ sport that’s so dangerous?

I guess I don’t see it like that. I’ve always loved cars, and for as long as I can remember my dad has been in and under cars, behind the wheel and absolutely loving the experience.
I’ve always loved the sensation of speed and realised that it’s much safer, and much more fun to do it in a fully prepared race car in a safe environment. Gaining the skill on the track also contributes to your driveability on public roads, you become so much more alert and are able to start reading what other drivers are about to do around you.

I love racing and the people that come with it are so supportive. There are a great bunch of guys that I race with varying in ages from early 30’s right into the 60’s and they all treat you as a equal. There’s no special treatment, they treat you just like they would anyone else out on the track... and if you beat them, you get a big smile and a congratulations.
It’s also a great hobby I’m able to share with my husband and my father, it’s brought us all so much closer together.

So if you’re a woman that loves speed come and join us. It’s much easier to get involved in than most people think and the fun is second to none.
For more information please feel free to visit us as www.europeancarservices.com

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