"With most Drag Racing competitors in this country being passionate amateurs, it is perhaps the most relevant and accessible of all British motorsport scenes. At the end of May we sent award winning young photographer Dom Romney to meet a "
Most teen girls like spending their free time doing their nails, staying abreast of the politics of the boy-band economy and partying. And to an extent Jayne Kay is no different. But this sixteen year old is a self confessed Adrenalin Junkie who thinks nothing of strapping her callow self into an Alcohol Funny Car – a machine that is capable of producing in excess of 2,000bhp and slingshot to top end of 200 MPH in as little as six and a half seconds.
Bit more intense than Robbie Williams- Take That reunion, eh?
Over the years there has been a multitude of female Funny Car drivers, Californian Ashley Force and pioneer Shirley Muldowney, but Jayne is the youngest ever woman to find a seat in the short wheel based category.
Jayne’s obsession with speed came from her father, Gary Kaye. Having grown up around dragsters and speed freaks it was perhaps inevitable that she would end up racing. Her first true taste of speed came at the age of eight, when Gary entered his little girl into Santa Pod raceway’s ‘junior dragster’ class giving his daughter a taste of dragster speed. From that day forward she was hooked.
There is a specifically intense thrill to racing Funny Cars. With their short wheelbase frame, forward-mounted engine and fully enclosed stock car body – you have to really work the machine to the top end. There is little margin for error. One mistake can be very very messy.
As luck would have it, just at the time when Jayne was thinking of making the jump to racing in the funny car category, European Funny Car driver Dan Larsen was selling his ex Frank Manzo body and rolling chassis. This combined with the Blown Mopar Hemi that Gary had acquired for his own racing car made the ideal set up to start Jayne off in Top Methanol Funny Car.
The Kay family is ambitious. The plan is that after two years of learning the trade and skills needed in Super Pro, they are going to step up and take on the Europeans on the FIA Top Methanol Funny Car European Tour – a class which sees speeds exceed 250mph and plays host to some of the closest wheel-tow wheel racing in Europe.
Words and pictures by Dom Romney
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