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Tamara Silk on track to be the fastest woman in New Zealand


t silknews


There’s a certain trajectory you can expect when you are born into a sporting dynasty and if the family sport happens to be drag-racing you could end up being the fastest woman in New Zealand.

Tamara Silk (22) had her first run in her new Lucas Oil-sponsored alcohol dragster in Masterton recently and clocked at 6.4 second quarter mile at 217 miles per hour.

The target is held by Karen Hay at 5.99 seconds.

Tamara’s Dad — and the reason Tamara is a drag racer — a key figure in New Zealand and California’s drag-racing scene says the car has clocked 5.8 at 250mph.

“She’s number two right now and the car’s certainly capable of doing it.” But nothing quite prepares you for the step up from the 500-horsepower carburetted C3 modified rail (now in the hands of 17-year-old brother Corey) to the 2600 horsepower Lucas Oils machine.

“It was terrifying but good,” says Tamara of her first outing in the car. “I got a bit of a fright and took my foot off a couple of times.” But she expects she’ll soon get the confidence to hold her foot down hard. Steering wasn’t a problem. “It’s very easy to keep straight”.

That’s one reason Robin decided to buy the rail rather than put her in the 3000 horsepower doorslammer he has in the States, where he works half the year building dragster chassis. Standard wheelbase cars with that much power can easily get out of shape.

The Silks bought the rail only recently and were delighted Lucas Oils decided to stay on as sponsors for Tamara.

“I was amazed,” says Tamara. I really didn’t think they would stay.”

She’s a practised hand at dismantling rocker gear and checking valves between runs so it won’t be long before she’s pictured filling the car with her sponsors products.

“I don’t want to be just a driver,” says Tamara. “I want to learn all about the mechanical side of things.”

Lucas Oil distributor Logan Distribution’s Rolf Wilson says he was delighted Tamara was joining the team. He says performance oils were one of the niche markets Lucas targeted when it was founded in 1989 and has sponsored many racing cars and events in America and he’s continuing that approach in New Zealand.

As for being the fastest woman Tamara says it’s not about knocking someone else off the top woman’s perch. Getting into the fives is definitely the target but she just wants to do the best she can.