Stock car racing is not a usual sport for 18-year-old girls – but for Phoebe Wainman it is a way of life.
She has just been awarded the highest possible grade of superstar, meaning the Silsden teenager is one of the top-six drivers in the country in her class.
In fact, she is currently number one as she leads the points championship.
Phoebe is the first ever female to achieve the superstar grade. “It’s amazing to know that I am the first to make it to superstar, especially as there have been a few great female racers in BriSCA (British Stock Car Association) adult formulas over the years.
“But it’s an achievement in itself to make superstar, regardless of being female.”
Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise because Phoebe’s family are legends in the world of stock car racing. She is the daughter of Frankie Wainman Junior, regarded by many as one of the all-time greatest drivers.
Phoebe’s grandfather is Frank Wainman Senior, a former world champion and one of the very first superstar drivers when the grade was introduced in 1976.
“My family have been brilliant about me racing. They are all so supportive and really help me,” said Phoebe.
“I couldn’t do it without the mechanics. They really are amazing. Most of my family race, so we all understand how to help and support each other.
“Chris Fort, who does my engines – I can’t explain how amazing he is with the car and how he supports me.”
So far this season, she has contested six meetings and won seven races. In addition, Phoebe won the Northern & Midland Championship and placed third in the European Championship.
Phoebe began racing in the junior mini-stox category, aged 14, and moved into the V8 Hotstox class when she turned 16.
She won a couple of races in her first two seasons but this year she has been a different driver.
“I feel a lot more confident and I have completely changed my thinking towards racing,” she said.
“Last year I was very doubtful and not very enthusiastic and I think that showed when I raced.
“I came into this year with a lot more determination and confidence and it seems to be working. We have done nothing to Keith (my car). He is 14 years old this year and still going strong.”
Phoebe’s dad Frankie, her uncle Danny and her younger brother Frankie Junior Junior are all currently rated superstars in their respective classes, meaning that the Wainmans are the first family to have four members at the top of the sport at the same time.
It is a wonderful record which speaks volumes of the contribution the Wainman family have had on their sport.
If Phoebe can achieve the sort of success and adulation that her her father and grandfather have achieved she will surely write her own chapter in the Wainman success story.