Australian girl racer Kelly Corbett is New Zealand’s quickest “four cylinder” drag racer aboard her Jett Racing Datsun 1200 Ute.
Corbett attended the January 25 and 26 Australia Day event at Fram Autolite Dragway (Meremere) as one of four event-funded feature acts from Australia, convincingly beating the existing New Zealand marker for quickest elapsed time (7.43 seconds) on her very first run with a 7.14 second pass at 284km/h.
Making the achievement even more impressive is the fact the result came despite Corbett’s decision to shut off the Jett Racing Datsun Ute before she reached the finish line, as the 29-year-old gave herself time to acclimatise to the unfamiliar drag strip.
“To become the quickest four cylinder racer in New Zealand is absolutely amazing, the whole experience of being invited to race at this prestigious international event as a headline act was already mind boggling and this just puts the cherry on the cake,” said Queenslander (Camira) Corbett.
“When we accepted the invitation to come over, Collin (Willshire, Jett Racing team owner) and I really had one major goal, and that was to beat the existing New Zealand four cylinder record.
“To not only achieve that but to do it on the very first run and with an early shut off to boot left us ecstatic to say the least.”
Jett Racing team owner Collin Willshire said Corbett has quickly become a valued part of the team since joining 12 months ago.
“Kelly is an amazing young racer and has proven again and again since joining Jett Racing a year ago that she has the talent and the enthusiasm to really reach great heights both in Australia and internationally,” said Willshire.
“This weekend’s event really proves that, to become the quickest four cylinder pilot in New Zealand after being invited over as a fully-funded headline act really shows how her ability is being recognised and proven on both sides of the Tasman - I couldn’t be more proud.”
Following her crowd-pleasing first round of qualifying, Corbett returned to the track for a second run of 7.34 seconds at 280km/h before moving on to the first round of racing, where a solo run saw the Jett Racing pilot forced to “pedal” the car after experiencing tyre shake off the launch.
Thanks to the “bye” nature of the run, the 2009/2010 Australian Modified Champion proceeded to the second round of racing and faced off against New Zealand’s Robby Ward, taking the win and a ticket to the semi-finals courtesy of another 7.34 second performance at approximately 280km/h.