FORMULA Vee is the fastest growing category in female motorsport and one local driver is leading the pack.
Hillarys resident April Welsh (21) is the youngest of three female racers currently competing in WA.
She secured a place in the history books twice this season when she became the first female in Formula Vee to qualify for a race in pole position and record a podium finish.
She achieved both feats at Wanneroo’s Barbagallo Raceway in just her second season behind the wheel with no prior experience.
“The biggest highlight for me was qualifying on pole,” she said. “That day I had come back from the pre-race drivers’ briefing and we were the first category out to qualify.
“Unfortunately my pit crew found a problem with one of my wheels and started pulling the car apart while everyone else was jumping in their cars and going out on the track to qualify.
“You’ve only got 10 to 15 minutes to do as many laps as you can to try and record the quickest time, but I just had to watch everyone else while my car was in pieces.”
She only got on to the track for the last few minutes of qualifying but managed to secure the fastest time.
“First I was in shock,” she said. “It was quite a proud moment for me.
“I felt I had worked my way to that spot and earned some respect from the male drivers.”
Although technical issues forced her off the track at the recent national competition in Tasmania, 2015 proved a breakthrough season for Welsh who juggles university studies, a part-time job and type one diabetes with her racing.
She finished the 2015 season in fourth position, just four points behind driver Stephanie Wolfgram, who also made history by becoming the first female to finish on the podium in the WA State Championship.