Rachelle Splatt is taking on a new drag racing challenge as she makes a return to drag racing in an all-female collaboration. The formation of the Center Steer Motorsport team will feature Splatt returning to racing in a sportsman role, joined by mother and daughter duo Sarah Roderick and Ashleigh Pinkstone from Roderick Family Racing.
Splatt will be seated in a Competition Eliminator dragster running under the A/DA index owned by Wayne Downes and is eager to start the new task at hand.
“I missed the track and racing, I am looking forward to returning to racing and excited for the challenge of learning to drive the sportsman car,” said Splatt.
Having Rachelle – the first woman over 300mph in the world – on board boosts the team’s other goals in mentoring young women in drag racing. How did that happen? “I simply asked her if she was interested in driving,” said Roderick.
Both Roderick and Pinkstone had already begun a mentoring program for Junior Dragster girls in North Queensland and want to continue the program through the new team, their ultimate goal is to provide stepping stones for female racers to advance from Junior Dragster to Modified through to Group 2 racing.
With Pinkstone still competing in her Junior Dragster, Sarah Roderick will be racing the Roderick Family Racing altered set up for D/AA. The altered first hit the track in late 2019 with Dave Roderick still steering, unfortunately after a lengthy health battle that culminated with Dave becoming a below knee amputee, it was sorted that Stephan Gouws would drive the car that hosted a new combination at the 2021 WinterNationals, a meeting that Pinkstone won in her Junior Dragster.
Moving into 2022, Sarah Roderick – who had been competing in Top Sportsman – was asked by Downes who had been crewing on the altered if she would like to driver his dragster. After a brief spell in the car Roderick wanted to focus on moving into the team’s altered, leaving the seat of the dragster vacant. Then, Roderick decided to message Splatt and asked her if she would like the opportunity to drive the car, in which she agreed with plans starting to be put in place and the new team alliance was formed.
The Splatt driven A/DA dragster has a 225in chromoly chassis hosting a 500ci DRCE ex-US Pro Stock engine back by a Powerglide, 9”diff with 5.14 gears. While Roderick’s D/AA altered has a 359ci Tremaniac Windsor with a 3-speed Protrans Proflite between its chromoly frame rails, and Pinkstone will continue to run her JR Engine powered Junior Dragster in the all-girl team.
The plan will be for Roderick to test in the dragster ahead of Splatt competing in all the local track and NDRC meetings at Willowbank with Pinkstone also competing at North Queensland events, and if the budget is available they hope to venture to Sydney’s Nitro Champs in May.
It is an exciting time for Roderick and what lays ahead.
“I am looking forward to bringing back the altered that hasn’t raced since 2021 when former Modified Champion Stephan Gouws drove the car. Also being part of Rachelle’s journey into sportsman racing and learning from her,” she said.
“Don’t ever let someone tell you that girls can’t race and never listen to the haters. Racing can be fun. Give it a go, we love it!”