Australian woman takes NZ by storm

Australian Alexandra Whitley is the poster-girl for never giving up until you reach the top. Starting in go-carts at 16, she raced her way around Australia, winning numerous races and championship placements in the kart engineered by her father. In just seven years, Alexandra has gone from winning go kart championships, to being only the second woman to ever win a race in the New Zealand Ssangyong Endurance series.

After making the decision to jump from karts to an MX5 at a Ladies Test Day at the Queensland Raceway, Alexandra caught the eye of mentor Heather Spurle, who was impressed at the young woman’s tenacity and talent. Spurle had been set to race the Waikato Ssangyong endurance event, but a broken wrist prompted her to send Alexandra in her place. Unfortunately, Alexandra suffered a collision in the first run, placing 23rd among 30 competitors, and believed her run to be over. Luckily for the young Aussie, Ssangyong distributor Deon Cooper was impressed with her skill, and she was invited back to complete the remaining six rounds while being offered employment in the workshop. The invite proved beneficial to both parties, as Alexandra went on to win her first race in the third round of the event by three seconds, and placing 6th overall of 51 drivers in the series.

After a brief visit back home, Alexandra has returned to New Zealand to continue her racing career, teaming up with the only other female to win a race in the series, Christina Orr. The duo competed in the Mahindra Endurance run, placing 3rd in their class after the second round and proving themselves to be a formidable team on track.

Alexandra was also given the opportunity to co-drive with Deon Cooper in his Ford GT for a one-hour endurance race, the pair placing 3rd in the event and hoping to secure the win this weekend at the three-hour Pukekohe event.

Along with her success on track, Alexandra has been announced as this years’ Women Of Australian Motorsport Junior Development Scholarship recipient, and has been asked to attend the CRC Motorsport Speedshow in Aukland as an ambassador for women in motorsport. Both accolades mark an important step in Alexandra’s career, and cement a place in motorsport for women competitors around Australia and New Zealand.