With racing fever hitting town thanks to the Winton V8 series, Benalla McDonald’s showed their support for girls who like to get behind the wheel.
Benalla racing star Ellexandra Best and Townsville’s Madison Dunston were showcased at the McDonald’s in the lead up to Winton, alongside Dunston’s racing car for the Winton event.
Dunston, who was in town for her very first Winton experience, said she had learnt a lot in her 11 years of driving.
‘‘When I was just seven my dad got me my first go-kart, we would practice every Friday afternoon after school, so I could improve for my first race,’’ she said.
Since then Dunstan has not only been winning races, but also speeding ahead of the boys on the track.
‘‘At the Queensland State Titles held in Townsville three years ago not only did I finish first but I was also the only female driver in my racing class,’’ she said.
‘‘To be a female in a male-dominated sport I would say is quite difficult.
‘‘I would be pushed off the track and sometimes be made fun of for being a girl racing with boys, which actually made me feel more confident and would drive me to push harder in my races.’’
For Best, who also started racing go-karts at age seven, motorsport is something that should be enjoyed by everyone.
‘‘It’s not about gender, it’s about your ability,’’ she said.
‘‘Across the different levels and various types of motorsport disciplines the push at present is to try to enthuse women to race and promote the women who do race.
‘‘It would be great to increase the number of females competing in motorsport.’’
Best has also racked up her fair share of success in the sport, including being named Winton Motor Raceway Young Achiever of 2016.
While she spent a lot of time watching her father Darren Best compete around Australia, Best said she was also lucky enough to have some female role models in the sport.
‘‘I have been very fortunate to have some great support from female racers such as Leanna Tanner, Lauren and Maddie Gray,’’ she said.
Best said the event held by McDonald’s was a great way to showcase the achievements of girls in motorsport.
‘‘It’s a chance to talk to people about motorsport, share my passion and hopefully encourage others to participate as well,’’ she said.