She’s the 19-year-old who has heads turning on the motorsport track.
Ever since Chelsea Herbert was competing in karts a decade ago and her goal was “to beat the boys”, the philosophy is really still the same, as she makes a name for herself as the sole female competitor in the New Zealand Touring Cars Championship.
The Aucklander wrote a piece of history earlier this month, when, at the second round of the series at the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park in Taupo, she became the first woman race-winner in the championship.
In the first of three races in Taupo, Herbert, in her Ford Falcon, started from fourth but then worked her way through to take the honours, finishing eighth on the track but first in class two.
“To have your first win’s pretty special, but to be making history at the same time was unbelievable really,” she told TVNZ.
Having managed three podium finishes in the season-opening round in Pukekohe in November, even a DNF in her second race in Taupo due to an alternator plug issue, and a fourth-place finish in race three after being collected by a passing competitor, hasn’t been able to derail Herbert, who debuted in the championship last season and now sits third overall in class two during the Christmas/New Year break.
There are four rounds remaining – at Mike Pero Motorsport Park in Christchurch (January 12-14), Teretonga Park in Invercargill (January 19-21), Circuit Chris Amon in Feilding (February 9-11) and at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park (March 9-11).