Hitchhikers to hitched: the story of NZ's husband & wife drift duo
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It's common in the world of motorsport to come across families with two, three, or more generations that have competed in the sport.
Significantly less common are couples to compete in tandem. But New Zealand has its own racing duo — newlyweds Drew and Jodie Donovan.
"The first time I met Drew, I had a Ford Laser and I was doing rollbacks in it," says Jodie.
"He was hitching, and the story went from there ..."
Some 15 years have passed since then. Eager followers of drifting have witnessed both drivers hone their craft and come through the D1NZ ProSport feeder series and into the 'main game' Link ECU D1NZ National Drifting Championship.
This season Drew switched from a Nissan Silvia to a Toyota Supra like Jodie's. Drew clinched his maiden D1NZ round win this year at ASB Baypark — home soil.
While Drew has hit new highs in results, Jodie continues to be a role-model for women wanting to make an impact in motorsport. She's one of a number of females competing in domestic championships, along with the likes of MIKE Racing's Christina Orr-West and BNT V8s race winner Chelsea Herbert.
"[The sport] is still very much dominated by males but in no way does that mean that the support isn’t there for the few females within it," Jodie said in a 2015 interview.
"Females in motorsport these days are becoming more and more common which is great! Society has changed a lot from the days that female participation was frowned on, it is now encourage and the support received is amazing. More females need to get involved and get amounts the action.
"My brother never treated me like a girl, there were no excuses, I had to keep up or get left behind. I think this has helped me with my driving not to be intimidated and hold my own when I’m out there. I grew up with a petrol head brother and a mechanic father so there wasn’t a lot of chance of being anything different."