herald

Sunday 22 October 2017

Drag racing queen aims for the top

Gabby with her trophies
Gabby with her trophies

The star of the Irish 
drag-racing circuit is hopeful that the thrilling sport will soon be officially recognised in Ireland.

The high-speed motorsport involves drag-car drivers 
competing, usually two at a time, to be the first to cross the finish line.

Gabby McDonald from Dublin was the first non-UK winner of the British Triple Championship in the junior division of the sport.

The psychology student at the National College of Ireland was also the first female to win the accolade in 2010, when she was just 16-years-old.

"Currently I race a 30ft long dragster that reaches over 300mph in less than four seconds on a 1,000ft track, it's quite a high-risk sport but I absolutely love it," she said.

Speaking on the Tubridy Show on 2FM, Gabby said that in February she met with the then-Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar along with the now European Parliament member Brian Hayes.

status

Both were supportive of her bid but referred her back to Motor Sport Ireland who represent the National Governing Body for all four-wheeled motorsport in the country.

The organisation will not raise the status of drag racing to an official sport as there is no adequate track in the State.

But the Tallaght-native said she hopes the situation will change.

Although Gabby's father is a mechanic and her two grandfathers collect vintage cars, she did not grow up influenced by the world of motoring.

"My background is in child modelling, it was completely by chance that I discovered the sport when I was 12," Gabby said.

"We were driving from LA to Las Vegas and we stopped off in a small amusement, which had go-karts and four dragsters on a rail and I decided to race my dad."

In the next five years Gabby aims to relocate to America where the sport is far more popular.

hnews@herald.ie

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