A 25-year-old woman has made motorsport history as the first female to win a V8 Ute championship race in the 12 years it has been running.
Alexandra Whitley took out the historic win in the first round of the New Zealand V8 ute series at Pukekohe Park Raceway on Sunday.
The front heavy cars are notoriously hard to handle making the win an even sweeter victory for the driver who described herself as an "accidental ambassador" for women in the male dominated sport.
"I was on the way to my first win last season but I was taken out with two laps to go," Whitley said.
"Since then I have bought my own car and have my own crew so it's especially rewarding to come back and do this in the first round."
Matt Spratt, the driver Whitley crashed with last season, came second to her in last weekend's race.
"In the last race he tried to pass me a few times and down the back straight he hit me and spun me around, being a ute they are a bit lighter so we both spun," she said.
"This time he came second to me so it was nice to come back and have a clean race and beat him fair and square."
Whitley said she "never set out to be a role model for women in motorsport" but is more than happy to break down barriers.
She is the only woman in the 12 strong field of older, experienced drivers with big budget sponsors.
"There is a bit of banter and the, 'we can't let that girl beat us', sort of thing off the track, but on the track they race hard and close but in a respectful way."
"I don't want to be treated any differently because I am female and they respect that."
Whitley's ground-breaking win comes in a week where Black Ferns star Kendra Cocksedge made history by becoming the first woman to win New Zealand Rugby's supreme player of the year award, when she was named the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year.
NZ Rugby chairman Brent Impey described Cocksedge's success as a "remarkable achievement".
Whitley was born in Australia and grew up in a go-karting and speedway mad family. She won seven national titles in Australia before moving permanently to New Zealand five years ago.
Whitley said the lead up to her win at Pukekohe had been tough with both her and fiance, fellow driver Peter Bennett, putting in long hours to buy Whitley's LDV ute.
"Leading up to the purchase we were working 97 hours a week in day and night jobs so we could afford to do it," she said.
"It was only three days before the round that we secured the sponsorship to do it."
Whitley said she couldn't imagine having a partner not in motorsport.
"We figured out we have 30 weekends of racing next year so we don't have much spare time," she said.
"We are either on the track or working on the cars in the shed but we certainly wouldn't have it any other way."
Now it is back to training, tweaking the car and working as a driving instructor at Hampton Downs Motorsport.
"I can't wait to do the next race in Cromwell which is a track I've never raced on.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge of the new track and showing the men I can do it again."