Twenty-four ladies will go head to head this weekend at Redline Raceway with a crown at stake.
Queen of the Mountain is in it’s fourth year and once again a mix of females – from the experienced to the not so experienced – have nominated.
Brooke Ferguson, who won the event both in its maiden year and last year, will attempt to defend her crown but admits the task is more difficult each year.
“It gets harder each year this event goes on with the ladies gaining more track time and developing their skills,” Ferguson said.
“There are a lot of big name drivers in the field from a few different classes so it’s not going to be a walk in the park.
“We will all have to work hard for it and whoever it may be that takes the win will deserve it.”
Although Ferguson owns her own Street Stock and regularly mixes it with the best in the class, she will this weekend steer the FG Falcon of partner Jayden Blomeley.
“There’s no secret to taking the win,” she said of her past success.
“I’ve always been lucky enough to have a great car behind me.
“I try and keep a clear head and not think too much about who is around me, just take each heat as it comes and hopefully be there for the final.”
Ferguson will compete again her mum, Karen, and said with her driving a VF Commodore, belonging to Darren Giacometti, the younger Ferguson won’t have the one up on her this time around, unlike last year.
She said the likes of Belinda McCoubrie, Casey Newlan, Felicity Roycroft, Jacque Whatmore, Jo Storer, Kayla Knox, Kelly McDermott, Megan Cheeseman and Melissa Crutchley have all shown great speed this season.
“One of my picks to watch is Sara Benson,” she added.
A lot of effort has gone into the event with a plethora of awards and prizes up for grabs. Naomi Purdie and Tamieka McClure have been the driving force behind it this year, with both ladies doing it for the girls.
“Without the support of a lot of their wives, partners, mothers, daughters etc it would be a lot harder for some people to race,” McClure said.
“It is such a great event to give back to those that help behind the scenes during the season.
“A lot of first time drivers find it intimidating jumping straight in with the men so I feel that it is important to give back to those that help during the season with the Queen of the Mountain race.”
McClure said the best part of the event is that any female can give it a go – from first timers to those that race week in, week out.
“Even though a first timer knows they likely won’t win against someone who is a full time racer, it’s all about having fun and for a lot of females making a dream of having a go out on the track a reality,” she said.
With McClure – who regularly goes passenger for husband Brad in his Street Stock – not competing this year due to an existing commitment, she urged those who were wanting to have a go to take the plunge next season.
“I suggest the earlier you scope out a ride the better,” she said.
“It always helps if you can get to a Redline Raceway practice day and have a go and learn a little about the car before the event.
“It might make the owner of the car a little bit more at ease as well.
“Next season I personally plan on doing a few practice days and Sunday races to get some confidence prior to attempting the event.”
McClure acknowledged the amazing support of sponsors who she said had jumped on board at short notice.
“This season Naomi and I wanted to try and achieve every driver who gets a start on the day receives a prize whether it be for the last Ford/Holden across the line, most banged up car or first DNF in the final,” she added.
“This event is all about the girls and the fun they will have out there.”
Redline Raceway president Mick Purdie said the concept of Queen of the Mountain was born a few years ago.
“Redline Raceway is one of the best Street Stock tracks in the state and we regularly run two major features for streeties including King of the Mount,” Purdie said.
“I was approached by a couple of regular drivers and asked if we would do something similar to King of the Mountain for ladies and call it Queen of the Mountain.
“As we had regular ladies competing against the men, the club thought why not and Queen of the Mountain was programmed for last meeting of the year so as to allow the guys to step aside for the girlfriend and wife or just some talented ladies who didn’t have a chance to show off their skills looking for a drive.”
Purdie said the Club has regularly had more than 20 entries since conception with drivers travelling from as far as Western Australia to have a run.
He said Brooke Ferguson has been a standout in the past, winning the event twice, with Kionna Sunnerton from NSW taking the honours in the second year.
“My advice to ladies if they’re new to Queen of the Mountain is to just go out give it your best and above all have fun.”
Queen of the Mountain will form part of an action packed night of racing at Redline Raceway on Saturday night with the JSPA running, Sports Sedans, Standard Saloons, Unlimited Sedans and a Vintage demonstration. Over 100 cars have nominated across all classes.
“Juniors are going to be quick around the Mount,” Purdie said.
“Along with some very quick Sports Sedans battling for points in the final round of the Mental Racewear Series.
“Leigh Bourke currently Has top points, but Zac Swanson and Jake Drewett are also ones to watch.”
With the other support classes, Purdie said there will be plenty for all the enjoy.
Racing Saturday night starts at 4pm.