Gladstone's Tayla Kelly, 15, has been drag racing since she was only 10 at Benaraby Dragway.
Gladstone's Tayla Kelly, 15, has been drag racing since she was only 10 at Benaraby Dragway.

Tayla has been hitting the drag strip since she was 10

WHEN Tayla Kelly got behind the wheel of a custom made drag car aged just 10 years old, she got bitten by the motorsport bug, and has only gone faster ever since.

Five years later, while her friends play netball or other teenage activities, Tayla continues to improve her numbers at Benaraby Dragway.

Not yet old enough to even go for her learners licence, Tayla now has more hours behind the wheel than many people twice her age.

Supported by her mother Teena and father Brett, Tayla loves nothing more than to plant the throttle and launch down the bitumen at Benaraby.

Drag racing is in the blood of the Kelly family, with Tayla's father Brett a regular streetcar racer at Benaraby Dragway.

"The best thing about drag racing are the vehicles, and the skill used to drive them," she said.

Taking on the men, or teenage boys in her case, doesn't worry this adrenaline junkie one bit.

"Being a female doesn't change one thing about how you drive your car or bike, quite the opposite actually," Tayla said.

Over the years, Tayla said she has made some great friends and would encourage any other teenage girls her age to try the sport for themselves.

"Everyone is really supportive and encouraging to everyone else," she said.

An Australian National Drag Racing Association ANDRA spokesman said junior dragracers can be licensed to race from as young as eight, plus they must complete a medical.

"The Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster bracket was created by ANDRA for competitors between the ages of 8 and 16 inclusive, racing scaled Dragsters and Funny Cars," the spokesman said.

"Junior Dragsters are replicas of the sports' fastest cars, Top Fuel.

"Just like their full-size counterparts, the vehicles will need a log book and inspection to meet ANDRA's stringent technical specifications.

"ANDRA also places speed and elapsed time restrictions on competitors based on their age and experience."