The overalls and helmet have been fitted, the car safety-checked and modified – and nerves are under control. Now all that's left for Kathy Sellars is to put pedal to the metal.
Kathy will take to the terracotta track tomorrow night as this year's SunLive demolition driver in the SunLive Baypark Speedway Demolition Derby at Baypark Family Speedway in Mount Maunganui.
“I can't wait,” says Kathy. “I'm not nervous. I've got a good feel of what it might be like behind the wheel. When I found out I could go full throttle and there's no speed restrictions I was like: ‘Yeah!”
The mother-of-two will be bashing and crashing her way around the speedway track behind the wheel of a specially-modified 2001 Suzuki Aerio.
“I've named her Stinga,” says Kathy. It relates to her Zodiac sign. “I'm a Scorpio, and so is the boss. It runs in the SunMedia family.”
Kathy says the daily battle of negotiating Tauranga's commuter traffic has honed her driving skills, revving up her excitement to take on the derby.
“Driving to work each morning in Tauranga has certainly given me a taste of what it might be like at Baypark Speedway – except on the roads you have to dodge cars and at Baypark I'll be allowed to hit them – yes!
“I've never driven on a track before but did grow up driving the local back roads in the days before it was sealed, dodging possums and handling corners.”
The January demo-derby is the first of two this season, with the second scheduled for April 15.
The event will also feature the second round of the Champion of Champion Sprint Car Series, La-Z-Boy Saloon Series, mini stocks and six-shooter V6 wingless sprint cars.
“It will be a great night's entertainment for speedway fans and a chance for those who have never experienced speedway to come along and see what it's all about,” says Baypark Family Speedway promoter Bernie Gillon.
Baypark Speedway Demolition Derby at the family speedway tomorrow night, January 7, starting 6.30pm.