Seventeen-year-old Hayley Xiberras is following in the footsteps of her father, Peter Xiberras, when it comes to developing a passion for all things drag racing.
The Sydney teenager has been helping out with her dad’s PremiAir Hire Top Fuel Drag Racing team for years and can often be found at the race track helping out the crew – in between doing her Year 12 homework.
“I think from the very first time I went to watch dad race, I became fascinated by the entire world of drag racing,” Hayley explains.
“Learning all about the car has been really fascinating to me. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes and even though I only help out with a small part of it all, I really love watching the more experienced crew members working on the car, it lets me learn so much more about this amazing sport every time I go to the track.”
The PremiAir Hire crew refuse to let Hayley’s young age stand in the way of her pitching in to help.
“After each run while the crew take apart the Top Fueler I stand by the wash bay and take apart, empty and clean the sump and the puke tank. I also clean the cylinder heads and other small parts which may have a lot of grease and oil stuck on them,” she said.
“In between runs there isn’t a lot for me to do, so I usually do some homework or help out with lunch or dinner for the rest of the crew.
“In the future, I would love to learn more and more about the car and maybe step up to some bigger tasks – I love learning about how the car works and how each part helps it get down the track.”
While she loves the mechanical side of things, that isn’t the only part of the drag racing game that draws Hayley to the track time and time again.
“I love the passion and the atmosphere at the drags. I love watching the crew and the spectators and of course my dad upholding this incredible passion for drag racing and together it all creates such an amazing experience,” Hayley explained.
“There is so much that goes into this sport, the crew work so incredibly hard and there are a lot of very late nights/early mornings; they put 100 percent into everything they do and through the good and the bad they still manage to pick themselves up and look at the positives.
“I am very proud and inspired when I get to watch dad race, he is never without a smile on his face and it really makes me happy seeing him so passionate. I feel nervous often too right before he races, but I think that’s pretty natural when you are watching your dad drive at over 500 kilometres an hour!”