Mindi Devine prepares for the Leyburn Sprints.
Mindi Devine prepares for the Leyburn Sprints. Gerard Walsh

Mindi loves life in the fast lane

A LOVE of make-up, shopping and the colour pink may not be the characteristics of a stereotypical rev head, but local lass Mindi Devine has shown even girly girls could get into cars.

This weekend the Daily News administration assistant will be swapping her hair straightener for helmet-hair when she takes to the track in her 1965 Morris Mini at the Leyburn Sprints.

Nineteen-year-old Miss Devine said it was her second year racing in the Leyburn Sprints and she had competed at other races around the country since she took up motor sports at the age of 17.

“I have been going to the Sprints since I was young with my whole family,” she said.

“I can remember going out there with my sister and my cousins, it’s a real family thing.”

In her debut at last year’s event Miss Devine came second to her father Pat but was confident she would better him this year.

“He is in a different class this year so we are not racing against each other directly,” she said.

“But I should get a better time than him, if I don’t, there is something wrong.”

Her father is set to drive a 1949 Light 15 Citroen – a replica of Miss Devine’s great-grandfather’s car.

“It’s even painted with Barnes Auto colours, who originally sponsored my great-grandfather,” he said.

Miss Devine said she loved racing because it was fast and fun, but more than anything the Leyburn Sprints offered up a great social occasion.

“We have many friends we have met through racing,” she said.

She said while there was a competitive side to the race meet and she enjoyed beating out friends and family, there was no love lost.

Miss Devine said despite being in the vast minority when it came to gender, she had felt accepted in the racing community.

“A lot of people have been so supportive, especially dad’s friends when I said I was going to start racing,” she said. “Dad always says he didn’t have boys but it doesn’t matter because his girls race.”

Her 15-year-old sister and another female friend are also taking to the track in the male-dominated sport.

Other female competitors signed up for the sprints included Kristy McAndrews from Murwillumbah and former Warwick girl Tricia Chant who said she had attended every Leyburn Sprints even though she left Warwick at the age of 18.

“I have been competing at the last 10 or so,” she said.

Ms Chant said she now lived in north Queensland but made the journey back to the Southern Downs every year for the much-loved event.



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