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Monday, September 26, 2011

Girl, 8, is world's youngest drag racer

A British schoolgirl has become the youngest drag racer in the world - just one day after her eighth birthday.

Belle Wheeler passed her drag racing driving test a day after she turned eight - the minimum legal age for youngsters to get behind the wheel.

The pint-sized dragster then went onto compete against youngsters more than twice her age and qualified for the UK National Finals - less than 24 hours after taking her test.

Her 15ft dragster, which was made in the US, has been specially adapted for her 4ft 4ins frame and can accelerate to 50mph in just 12 seconds.

"It was amazing to get in the car and drive it all on my own," said Belle, who has to wear specially made fireproof overalls when she races.

"It was quite hard to steer at first and keep the dragster going straight but I soon got used to it.

"I love going really fast and all my friends are very jealous. They can't believe I get to go racing."

Belle is following in the footsteps of older sister Paige, who began racing 18 months ago when she was 11.

The girls became interested in the sport three years ago when the family moved to Wellingborough in Northamptonshire - just 10 minutes drive from the famous Santa Pod track.

Dad Andy, 38, commented: "It is not what I expected them to be interested in, but they are obsessed by the sport so I want to support them."

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