IN HONOUR: Warren Sander is hosting a mini field of women event in memory of his late wife Terri.
IN HONOUR: Warren Sander is hosting a mini field of women event in memory of his late wife Terri. Cordell Richardson

Family's pink tribute for drag racing queen

DRAG racing was a part of Warren and Terri Sander's lives but on Saturday Mr Sander will go to Willowbank alone.

Australian Drag Champion Terri Sander was a super sprint racer and championed 'mini field of women' events at Willowbank Raceway between 2008 and 2014. She died of breast cancer in January, when she was 61.

Now Warren and his family are bringing the event back in Terri's honour and to raise funds and awareness of Breast Cancer Network Australia.

"This year is the first year since she has passed away and with family and friends we are going to rekindle what she started and continue on with her legacy of having the pink ladies day out there," Mr Sander said.

Terri was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 but it returned in August 2011, when she had spinal surgery and had to learn to walk again.

"When she couldn't drive the Rover I built the HQ one tonner for her and she was able to race the ladies division, Powder Puff, in that in 2016 at the street series and she got to the top eight," Warren said.

"When I talk to the track manager he refers to Terri being part of the family still. When she was first diagnosed, she came back the following year and won the Australian nationals. At the time she was only the second female to win the nationals."

Terri and Warren had two children, Paul and Janine, and four grandchildren, Caitlyn, Xander, Hayden and Jade.

The couple travelled the nation together, Terri would drive and Warren would build the cars and act as her pit crew.

"The first year we went to Mackay, after she won at the Winter Nationals, a young guy and his mate were cocky with racing a grandmother. He copped it for a long time after Terri beat him," Warren said.

"There was a sense of pride you got when people would say Terri was someone they had to look out for. It meant they had some respect for her. You just want respect as a driver at the end of the career."

Terri Sander and Mumma's Toy in 2010.
Terri Sander and Mumma's Toy in 2010. Claudia Baxter

Willowbank to host pink ladies for big day

WILLOWBANK Raceway will be transformed tomorrow as a mini-field of women gather in tribute to those affected by breast cancer.

The Breast Cancer Network Australia event will highlight the impact the disease has had on the whole community.

It is the first time since 2014 that Willowbank has hosted the event since breast cancer support champion and drag Queen Terri Sander presented the event. Terri passed away in January and now husband Warren and her family have rebooted the event in her honour.

"Some people who have been diagnosed told me they will be able to relate to the event," Mr Sander said. "Terri had a focus on trying to help people who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. It's not for her own benefit but for women who have been diagnosed and their families who can support.

Gates open at 4pm and cars will be on the track at 4.30pm, weather permitting.

Mumma's Toy alive in memories

MUMMA'S Toy was a force to be reckoned with.

Behind the wheel of the Rover drag-racing car was grandmother Terri Sander, with the support of husband Warren the mechanic and pit crew.

Former Australian drag champ, Ms Sander's driving talents were feared in competition by young men and women alike.

"The year she got to the final at the Winter Nationals, the grandstand was packed.

'I had a bit of a chat to her like I always did, I had some words of wisdom," Mr Sander said.

"It's very much a male-dominated sport but the ladies stick together. They have a common enemy.

"There are some women but not a lot of grandmothers, that is for sure."

Ms Sander started racing in 1993 with her husband's younger brother Steven.

She continued racing in his honour when Steven died of bowel cancer in 2005.

"It was because she was in control that she enjoyed racing," Mr Sander said.

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