Gina has always had the need for speed having grown up around cars and following her Dad around from the age of 5 working on cars around the house.
“I remember my Mum had a Ford Capri and Dad needed to remove the valves. He didn’t have the right tools to remove the collets so he used two screw drivers to push the springs down and I used my little fingers to pluck the collets out one by one! Even so young, I was so proud of what I had achieved,” Siddins said.
Working at the Gold Coast Indy as Relationship Manager and other motor sport events in corporate areas, Gina always longed to get out on the track herself.
“I’ve always watched all the Bathurst events and followed some inspirational drivers in various forms of motor sport including Jim Richards, Dick Johnson, Kevin Bartlett, Scotty McLaughlin, Daniel Ricciardo, and Ari Vatanen. Although all these drivers are all male, I grew up in an era where women in motor sport wasn’t promoted.
“We’re lucky that isn’t the case anymore and I encourage women to get into motor sport at every opportunity. I’m actually speaking at a Historic Racing Car Club Queensland event later this year.”
Gina’s husband, Jon introduced her to motor sport where she finally found her niche! “I started out with a Level 2 Speed licence and some training with Paul Stokell and loved every minute of it. I graduated to a Clubman Circuit Licence and National Rally Licence and now compete in Track Sprints, Regularity, Improved Production and of course tarmac rally as Co-Driver with my husband in our Team 24oz in TARGA events in our 1970 Datsun 240z.
We now have three Datsun 240z’s, a Nissan Pintara TRX 3E Production Touring Car which was raced at the 12 Hour in 1993 and 1994 (my first race car!) and a Datsun 1600. After all, it’s like handbags, you can never have too many!”
Gina loves the exhilaration you get from motor sport – the thrill of bettering yourself in terms of your driving ability; being passionate about braking later, hitting that apex better on the next lap, focusing on your gear changes, increasing your lap speed, the camaraderie amongst competitors particularly at TARGA events, sticking it to the boys when you pass them on the track and of course winning trophies. “After all, I am known as the ‘Trophy Queen’!”
Gina competed in Regularity in the Bathurst Challenge event for the first time in 2017 in the Nissan Pintara and did 193.2 kilometres down Conrod Straight! “I thought every panel was going to fall of the car! Not bad for a stock standard engine and the only modification being better shocks. This was the most exhilarating experience being on the track at Bathurst in a car that had been raced there many years before.”
In terms of rallying, Gina said she would not be where she is today if it weren’t for their wonderful sponsors, service crews and our passionate fans. “They make it all worthwhile when they support us through the ups and downs of motorsport.
“It doesn’t matter what age you are, there is always the opportunity to get into motor sport in one form or another. I remember a quote from Ari Vatanen, famous Finnish Rally Driver – “speed doesn’t know your age & neither does a rally car”.
“Whether it be volunteering as a track marshall, working in timing or as a part of the service crew for a team. I’ve started out in these roles and have a much greater appreciation for the critical roles that volunteers play in allowing us to race. These roles can lead to getting behind the wheel if you are keen.”
If you want to get into motor sport but you don’t know how, Gina has offered you contact her via her Team 24oz Facebook page and she would be happy to give you some ideas or put you in contact with some clubs or other volunteers in your area.
International Women’s Day takes place in Sunday, March 8th. For more information, visit https://www.internationalwomensday.com/