Yallah teen driver's life in the fast lane

Most 16-year-olds would be in hot water if they took their parents' car for a high-speed spin around the suburbs - but not Kathryn Gill.

Yesterday the Yallah teen raced around Dapto's Huntley Hill in her white Hyundai Coupe at jaw-clenching speeds, much to father John's pride.

She was one of six members of her extended family to race in the Wollongong Sporting Car Club's annual Huntley Hillclimb - and it won't be the last if Kathryn has any say in it.

"You could say I have the need for speed - but only when it's legal," she said.

"Sometimes I have been driving on the road and I've been 'I wish I could go faster' ... but then I can race."

The teen managed to keep her nerves and excitement in check, improving on her 47 seconds as she powered up the 658-metre track each time.

It was the first time behind the wheel without father John or mum Lorraine sitting by her side.

Instead they sat on the sidelines with older brothers Brad and Jason, and Jason's partner Sarah Costello to cheer her on - and provide her with some healthy competition.

All six competed in the event, with each pair sharing one of the family's three Hyundai's between them. John, who raced his barely-modified Excel in the 0-1600CC class, discovered his passion for motorsports later in life after racing go-carts at a buck's party.

"We did some go-carting and I really enjoyed that so I bought myself a go-cart and it just went from there," he said.

"So I was about 50 before I even started in motorsports - I started with the go-cart and through that met people who were into cars and they suggested I give this a go."

It seems the power of persuasion also worked on his family, who have been gradually becoming more involved in the sport over the years.

Any men or women over the age of 16 are eligible to compete provided they are registered members, have applied for a CAMS level-two licence and drive a road-worthy car.

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