Queensland girl racer Kelly Corbett celebrated Australia Day at the weekend’s V 4 and Rotary Nationals by becoming New Zealand’s quickest four cylinder drag racer.
Corbett (pictured above, image courtesy dragphotos.com.au) attended the January 25 and 26 event as one of four event-funded feature acts from Australia, convincingly beating the existing New Zealand mark for quickest elapsed time (7.43 seconds) on her very first run at Fram Autolite Dragway in Meremere with a 7.14 second pass at 178mph.
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 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 175 miles per hour 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 175 miles per hour.
Unfortunately just minutes before the Jett Racing team prepared to line-up for the semi-final, Mother Nature brought the 2014 V 4 and Rotary Event to a premature end with a heavy rainstorm.
“It was a real shame to see rain intervene in what was a fantastic event, but even with the premature finish I think the fans which packed out the grandstands still enjoyed a great day out at the track,” said Corbett.
“There was something for everyone this weekend – from our break-through pass to some amazing ‘pedal power’ runs and some great races, it was an action-packed day.
“While I know the locals were probably not overly impressed with us breaking their ET marker we have enjoyed some great hospitality, and with some track officials remarking they were impressed with the performance of the Aussie visitors this year we hope we can come back again sometime in the future.”