Tucker to debut in pro stock
KIRSTEN Tucker, the sister of Pro Stock championship contender Shane Tucker, will make her professional drag racing debut at the Fuchs Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway from June 8-11.
The Queensland debutant will be the first female driver in the Pro Stock category in Australia.
She is following in the footsteps of a long tradition of women making their mark in the professional levels of drag racing including Rachelle Splatt, Debbie Reed and Debbie O'Rourke.
The Tucker family has a strong history in Pro Stock, with Kirsten's father Rob a former championship winner and her brother driving the Monster Energy Pontiac GXP.
Kirsten will be taking the wheel of the Holden Monaro that Shane competed in last season.
"We used to race junior dragsters together as kids so I have always been into the sport," she said.
"It is something I have always wanted to do, I just ended up having a family first."
Kirsten is married to ANDRA drag racer John Cannuli and they have two children.
She said racers such as Reed were role models for getting into driving.
"Debbie Reed is my mum's best friend so we have known and grown up with them for years," she said.
"They all know that this has been a long time coming and that I am really looking forward to it.
"Debbie thinks I will do well, she said to sit down and listen and don't let your pride get in the way."
The family has been able to provide plenty of advice for Kirsten ahead of her debut.
"I'm been sitting in the car going through the pass over and over in my head, as if the car was running, just like Shane and I used to do when we were kids," she said.
"Practice makes perfect.
"Dad always says you need to be aware of what the car can do to you and have that little bit of fear."
With three days of testing planned ahead of the Winter- nationals, Kirsten said just licensing was the goal.
"If I qualify, I qualify, if I don't, I don't," she said.
"I'm just playing every day as it comes, as long as I get my licence. But if I drove well we're not going to sit back, we're going to go after it.
"I'd like to qualify and hope to soon be up there with the rest."
Kirsten said it won't be the first time she has borrowed her dad's car to go drag racing.
"Dad once let me race his car at a Willowbank St meet, he told me no burnouts but by the time we took it back he had no tyres left on the car," she said, laughing.
The Winternationals are from June 8-11 at Willowbank Raceway.
The full ANDRA drag racing experience will be on show, including all pro categories and the best sportsman racers in the nation taking part in the Rocket Allstars Racing Series.