Women have long since been trying to show they're equal to men in all walks of life.
Women have long since been trying to show they're equal to men in all walks of life. They've succeeded in many fields, although one traditionally male-dominated area remains -- motor racing. But now Britain's Mrs. Roz Prior, a thirty-year-old mother of three who's already the fastest lady in Europe, is beating men as well in the quickest of all motor sports -- drag racing.
SYNOPSIS: For British drag-racers and their fans, the Santa Pod track in Bedfordshire is one of the highlights of their sporting calendar. Fast men and fast machines gather here to do battle against time and each other -- trying to get from one point to another in the quickest possible time. It's one of the fastest sports in the world -- with the mighty machines accelerating to some 200 miles an hour (321 kms) in a mere eight seconds or so.
But in Britain there's a woman among the ranks of mighty men and mechanical monsters -- attractive brunette Mrs. Prior, whose car is appropriately named "Maneater". Each time she vainly tries to disguise her shapely form under layers of protective fire-proof clothing, she hopes to repeat the formidable form that won her the British Championship at the end of her first full season in 1973. Each time she's pushed to the starting line there's hope in her heart as big as the engine in front of her -- an engine some 20 times more powerful than the average family car. She's five feet two inches tall (1.6 m.) and weighs 100 lbs (45.3 kg). The car is some 21 feet (7 m.) long and more than half a ton -- a modern version of the beauty and the beast.
Mrs. Prior admits it's a dangerous pursuit, in which the drag machines can career out of control half-way down the track if the tiny front wheels lose the minimal control they have over steering the heavy back end. And if the machine does make the end, the only means of stopping is a flimsy parachute. So what makes a mother of three take up this hair-raising pursuit? "The speed," she says. "The acceleration that leaves your stomach behind and pulls at your face."