Gallery: Sadie Betts, 15, from Bacton is making her name in the male-dominated sport of stock car racing
- Credit: Archant
Being a girl in a boys’ world does not faze Sadie Betts.
The 15-year-old, from Bacton, near Stowmarket, who is too young to have a driving licence, is making a name for herself in stock car racing.
The competitive teenager, who is a student at Stowupland High School, achieved third place in the Mini Stocks 11 to 16 league table last year, and she is currently in eighth place.
She said: “When I first started I was the only girl for two years and now this is my last year (in the league), my third year, and basically a few more girls have come to meet and have started racing as well.”
Sadie, who races for Promoter Sport Raceway International, competes as far away as Scotland and Cornwall.
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She plans to move up into the Stockrods league, which involves competing against drivers aged over 16, from this December.
One of her sponsors, Mendlesham-based 68 Auto Performance, proposed the move up, which will hopefully help Sadie to gain her MSA (Master Sports Association) licence, enabling her to race at all the big tracks around the country.
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The teenager said she was nine when she decided she wanted to get behind the wheel of a stock car.
“I went to this fireworks night at Mildenhall and I saw there was a girl racing and that’s what got me started. I thought ‘I want to do that now’.”
A love of cars and racing certainly runs in the family as Sadie’s uncle David Arnold –who built one of her stock cars – has competed in stock car racing and her father Steve Betts is a mechanic. Both help keep Sadie’s two stock cars on the track.
Mr Betts, 48, said he was “very proud” of what his daughter had achieved.
“It’s something I thought would just be a passing phase but she’s still at it three years later,” he said.
Sadie said it is a tough sport but there are plenty of safety precautions such as a back protector, neck brace and helmet. The most she has suffered is a few bruises.
Her father said: “She’s been hit flat out in the driver’s door and walked away.”
West Suffolk College, where Sadie attends one day a week to work towards a motor industry qualification, has agreed to sponsor her by buying her a pair of fireproof overalls and two tyres.
In return, the college logo will appear on the boot of her cars.
Carol King, manager of the college’s School Link programme, said: “Sadie is indeed an inspirational learner. She is a very enthusiastic and committed young person, and we are very proud to support her.”
Despite her success in stock car racing, Sadie wants to pursue a career in social work, with stock car racing as a hobby.