Q & A with Rachel Melrose TQ 9

Rachel Melrose



Q: Firstly congratulations on becoming the first female to win a feature race in the TQ class’ history this season at Western Springs! How did that feel and tell us a little about the race?

A: Thank you. I felt very shocked and overwhelmed at the time but I was super happy of course!

The race – I was so nervous before the race being off the front I knew I had a chance but also knew I could screw it all up. After the start which I lost I managed to get the speed in the first corner to lead. The car was so twitchy in pine tree bend I almost spun so was very consciously worried about having maximum speed but try to keep the car straight.

Then there were all those restarts…

It is quite emotional having other family and close friends out there, cause you want you all to do well.

Watching Ricks crash (1NZ), then hearing Philly (47a) go off with a flat tyre was hard for me but it made me more determined to do well.

I won all the starts and was still in front when the race was called.

Q: Your husband Josh also runs a TQ, do you both have a competitive rivalry with each other?

A: He says we don’t but I definitely do. I thought this season I would just beat him but he has improved on last season and keeps beating me so I keep telling him that it is only because he has a faster car. Then I remind him before each race that I will beat him this time and that he better get used to looking at my tail cone.

Q: Have you always been a motorsport fan? How did you get into racing speedway?

A: Not a fan of motorsport just motors – motorbikes, go karts, Quads, jet skis etc. My Dad raced so when he retired I asked to drive his modified sprint so he could sell it because “they sell better on the track”. Well that was 14 years ago and since then I have driven almost all speedway classes but keep coming back to TQs.

Q: In your opinion, what is the biggest race in New Zealand’s annual speedway calendar?

A: For us the TQ National Title is the most sought after but every feature at springs is a pretty big deal too.

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your downtime away from the speedway track?

A: Hanging out with my family and friends and artistic roller skating.

 Q: Who do you admire in the racing circles and why?

A:  My niece Jordyn Wallace, she is 13 and going through the ranks of Go-karts at the moment. I love all the top midget and sprint car drivers, they put on an amazing show! And I’m slowly getting to love circuit racing courtesy of Josh and his family.

 Q: Do you set goals for yourself each season? If so, what were your goals this season and what would you like to achieve next season?

A: Yes – usually I have a diary of goals and assess how they are going blah blah but this year my only goal is to beat Josh for the rest of the season! Oh and qualify for the NZ TQ Grand Prix in Napier (I have placed 3rd in this event twice so it would be nice to back that up) Next season – the only goal is to decide whether we are all going to run again….