Motorsport: Ute drive is Amber's route to big-time

V8 Supercars' safety car driver Amber Anderson hopes to take a big step at Bathurst this weekend towards fulfilling her ambition to become a full-time racing driver.

Anderson, who has driven the V8s safety car since 2008, will compete in the V8 Utes series at Mt Panorama on the undercard to tomorrow's main event, the Bathurst 1000.

The 28-year-old believes the drive in a V8 Nights-sponsored ute for the final four race meetings of the year could be a launching pad for future opportunities.

Anderson is no stranger to Bathurst, having driven there in the 12-hour race in 2008 and the Porsche challenge, but getting the opportunity to show off her ability with the full V8 Supercars field looking on is special.

"It's not racing all the time in the safety car, it's just driving," Anderson said.

"Driving the utes, giving me that opportunity to really stretch myself, to drive at all the tracks I know so well and really show I can handle something with a bit of weight, a bit of power, give it back to the boys, it really shows that you're a full driver.

"I still want to be able to prove I can drive a Supercar. I think I can, and it's time to demonstrate that. The ute's going to be a perfect vehicle for me to do that.

"If some of the teams are watching - which hopefully they might be - they might say 'let's throw her in, give her a test' and it might just open doors."

Leanne Tander, wife of Bathurst champion Garth, was the last female to compete in the V8 championship when she finished 18th at the 2009 Bathurst 1000 and Anderson said there are still challenges for women in motorsport.

"Obviously you stand out more as a woman and for sponsors and things that's good, but if you're not winning that's bad," Anderson said.

"It's really hard, as a woman, to be taken seriously ... when I did the autograph session someone thought I was a secretary.

"There's women everywhere in the sport, but a female driver in the V8s would be a wonderful thing for the sport.

"It'd be great, whether it's me or somebody else."

-AAP

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