Motorsports not just for blokes
PHILLIP Island raceway one day, Emerald's motorsport track the next - it's all in a weekend's work for the soon-to-be Emerald driver training mentor Samantha Bennett.
Tomorrow Bennett will step out for round three of the Australian Manufacturers Championship at Victoria's Phillip Island, led by a uniquely all-female race team.
From her 18-year-old co-driver Maddison Gray to her pit crew and even her race management - it's girl power right through and she wouldn't have it any other way.
"Males can't do everything," Bennett said.
"It's a great challenge to beat them at their own game."
She said racing against the boys was one of the best aspects of the throttled-fuelled sport, although occasionally it did take its toll.
"You do have your moments," she said.
"You've just got to stay mentally and physically strong."
Next month the talented Melbourne-based racing driver, with five years race track experience, will cross three states and cover more than 2000km for a tree change in Emerald.
Bennett will take up a position with the driver training team at the Emerald karting and motosport complex, with the aim of promoting motor racing to a wider female demographic.
"I want encourage others... be a bit of a role model and show them they can get into this sort of sport too," she said.
In the meantime, it's all systems go for this weekend's championship round in her newly acquired Toyota Echo, but nerves are little more heightened than usual.
"Phillip Island is a fast track… it's my home track and I'll put my hand up any day to race on it," she said.
"But it's forecasted to rain which makes it a lot harder."
The Bennett and Gary duo will get two one-hour races to finish as close to the top of the leaderboard as they can which, when you consider the factors influencing the outcome, is not an easy feat.
"A lot of it comes down to fuel. When to pit, when not to, when to take extra fuel," she said.
Supported by local business people such as Mick Young among others, Bennett intends to continue honing her race skills while in Emerald.