Motorsport is a passion that often stays in the blood, even when your racing days are over.
That’s certainly the case for former Wodonga AUSCAR racer Nicole Pretty.
Although she no longer competes, the mother of four is still never far from the track, heavily involved in the V8 Ute Racing Series.
Border Cafe joined her trackside for a quick chat.
Tell us about your racing background?
I started racing go-karts with my brother Nathan. From there, the next step is usually open wheelers, but we went in a different direction and got into AUSCARS, racing at Calder Park.
Nathan raced first, then I got involved.
Nathan had the sponsorship and whatever spare parts were left over went into my car. I didn’t always have the best parts, but I didn’t care. I was just out to have fun.
The whole family was part of it. Dad ran the team, mum came along and cooked and helped, as well as my sister and brother-in-law. It was fun.
What are your racing highlights?
Winning rookie of the year in AUSCAR was definitely a highlight, back in around 1995.
Back then, we had prize money, and we won a trip to Penang.
Racing at Calder Park was amazing. The atmosphere, the crowds were always massive. We did a lot of racing at night, you could see the brake discs light up.
I wish it was still happening today.
Tell us about your involvement in ute racing?
My husband Dave and I run Murphy Motorsport.
We were running four utes at one stage, but it got too much, so Dave’s gone back to running two utes, one that Nathan drives and the other we spent 2016 prepping for Kim Jane, with his crew taking over on race meetings.
I come along and do some timing and check tyre pressures.
I cook for our crew and make sure everything is going well and make sure Dave is doing his job right (laughs). I also do our social media.
You’re often in pit lane, armed with a clipboard, what are you doing?
I keep an eye on the timing.
The track is split into sectors, so I check Nathan’s times and compare it with whoever is the quickest in that lap.
Dave is on the radio to Nathan, so I’ll just tell Dave how Nathan is going, where he’s quick, where he’s struggling and needs to pick up more time.
Will we see you behind the wheel again?
I do love it and I considered racing a ute a few years ago, but there’s a lot involved in getting my licence again. I might do it one day.
I have four beautiful girls and they keep me very, very busy.
The eldest wants to race, but Dave is not overly happy about that!
For more information on Murphy Motorsport, you can follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/murphymotorsport/