Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Pearse carves clear path for future women's racing

Driver of 99 Psycho Clowns F2 in the 70mph social class on Saturday, Echuca's Jessica Pearse is one of the few women drivers in the Southern 80 and wants to see more involved.

GEORDIE COWAN February 12, 2013 1:40pm

Jessica Pearse at the finish line after driving 99 Psycho Clowns F2 in the 70mph social class.

Echuca’s Jessica Pearse cut something of a rare figure at the weekend’s Southern 80 — she was one of only a few women drivers.

Pearse drove 99 Psycho Clowns F2 in the 70mph social class on Saturday, which was her second competitive drive.

‘‘It was amazing,’’ she said.

‘‘It was really good conditions and I drove really well.’’

The 24-year-old said driving offered another way for her to engage with the sport she loved and she hoped more women would be encouraged to try driving.

‘‘I’ve always skied and I’ve skied with this boat for a while and I just wanted a bit of a challenge,’’ she said.

‘‘As there are not many women drivers around, I thought it would be good to see a few more get involved.

‘‘I’d never tried it, but just wanted to give it a go.

‘‘I actually didn’t think I would be able to do it.

‘‘It took me probably three goes until I could hold a constant speed and get around the corners, but every time I go out I’m getting better.’’

Pearse said the 70mph class was ideal for her to start with, as it was not too fast but trying to sit on 69mph was ‘‘quite difficult’’.

As she gains more experience in the driver’s seat, Pearse said she was aiming ever higher.

‘‘The plan is hopefully to put an all-girl crew together and maybe do a women’s event in a couple of years, so that’s exciting,’’ she said.

Other women drivers at the weekend included Jennifer Grech (Totally Against the Grain) and Alisha Brooks (Omen Formula 2).

Pearse and her team broke the record in the event, finishing in 9:39.62, but unfortunately they also broke the rules and were disqualified.

Pearse finished second with the team in 70mph expert, before also skiing in open women expert.

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