“Dragwell by name, drag very well by reputation” will be the motto of 19 year old Rhiannon Allison as she launches into the extreme world of jet dragsters this Sunday, December 28 at Perth Motorplex for Jet Car Max.
The 2013/14 season Rookie of the Year will be taking on American Chuck Haynes and South African Pieter De Wit in a frenzied best of three match race where winners and losers are decided at over 400kmh.
Allison said she never thought she would be offered a drive in a jet powered dragster.
“Going fast is my dream and I get to live my dream in a jet car,” she said. “I’ve always loved to watch them and now I am lucky enough to get to drive them.”
Allison has been through an extensive training and licensing process in order to become the youngest ANDRA-accredited jet dragster pilot in Australia.
The unique controls of a jet dragster require special training and special talent to master.
“They are not just like a normal race car where you might have left foot brake and right foot go,” Allison explained. “So from my time in Junior Dragsters to Supercharged Outlaws I always staged the same, now it is completely different.
“You have to get to know how to use the burner with different RPM, how to do the fire shows – it was a good learning curve though.”
Having confidence in her own abilities has been crucial to Allison’s success in learning at the controls of the dragster that has been nicknamed ‘Felicity Dragwell’.
“My first feeling as the car wound up was trust myself, because I am in control of the car,” she said. “I needed to have confidence because without that I was going to no good. I had a lot of nerves once the engine started but I had that belief and when I put the car into stage I was settled and calm and off I went.”
“I’m wary of what the car can do, like any other race car, but I was well aware of what I was doing and through licensing I just had to listen to Chuck (Haynes) and what he was telling me, anything wrong he was pointing out.”
Allison wants to make sure that fans at Perth Motorplex on Sunday come and check out the dragsters up close after a pass and she will be there to talk about her amazing experiences, especially to young ladies who want to get behind the wheel.
“Being 19 racing since a young age a lot of younger girls come up to me at the drags and they think it’s awesome,” she said. “For me to know I’m a role model to them is great. I’ve always looked up to (NHRA Funny Car driver) Courtney Force, she’s my idol and she has been in the back of my mind, so I hope I might be in the back of another young girl’s mind.”
For more details on Jet Car Max this Sunday, December 28, click here.