16 year old girl leads rally sprint series

Junior leads the way

A few days ago we got to update the points after round three of the Zestino Tyre Rally Sprint series. To our delight we discovered a surprise leader. 16 year old Kelly Thomas is sitting at the top of the outright points table!

Kelly is in her second season of rally sprints, last year taking runner up in the junior class. This year she’s in outright contention. So how has she done it?

We caught up with Kelly for a chat.

RADT: Kelly you’re leading the Zestino Tyre Rally Sprint series.

KT: Um, what? You mean I’m winning? RADT: Yes at the moment. KT: That’s pretty cool!

RADT: How old are you now? KT: I’m 16 and in year 11.

RADT: You’re on your L’s now for the road? KT: Yes, I get my P’s next year.

RADT: You haven’t won a round…Yet. However you’re leading the series, why? KT: I think it’s down to consistency.

RADT: Anything special about your race car? KT: No it’s pretty much a standard 2002 Ford Laser with rally tyres on it.

Support from the folks

RADT: Obviously Dad’s a fast driver and he is co-driving for you. Is he coaching you every step of the way? KT: No not really. He encourages me when I get things right. He’s really just weight in the car (laughs).

RADT: What about Mum, is she supportive? KT: Yes she is.

RADT: Does it change anything being a girl in the sport? KT: No not at all. A driver is a driver, doesn’t matter who you are. It is pretty cool though when you’re the youngest girl and you beat all the adults! I’ve seen some funny looks from other competitors when the results are announced.

RADT: Now that you know you’re leading the series, will it change your game plan? KT: No not at all. I’ll continue to do the best I can.

RADT: What do you think of the Zestino Tyre Rally Sprint series? KT: Great events. Really good. The closest thing around to actual rallying. A great middle step from Khanacross/Autocross into full rally.

RADT: Do you have any goals beyond the Rally Sprint series? KT:  Compete in full rallies like the state rally championship and above. Be one of the youngest rally competitors out there and do well. Right now budget and a rally car are factors (plus school).

RADT: Thanks Kelly. Well done on your results so far.

The wins and the  points

This year rounds one and two have been won by four wheel drive cars. Barry McGuinness/Glenn Alcorn and Ali Aslam/Saqib Malik have taken their WRX’s to the top of the podium. After round two Barry was leading the series. Unfortunately due to work and travel commitments neither team could get to round three. With Kelly gaining second and third places at all three rounds she now holds a lead of four points.

Zestino Tyre Rally Sprint round 4

Round four of the series is on 9th of September. Entries are now open and details can be found on our rally sprint page.

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