A N D G ET A FREE WILLIAMS TEAM CAP
How the Bellerby clan is enjoying their sporting discipline. By Hal Ridge SUBSCRIBE TO MOTORSPORT NEWS PLUS SAVE UP TO 30% ON THE COVER ER PRICE
It isn’t unusual for a father to be followed into motorsport by his offspring, even at the highest level. Look no further than Damon Hill, Nico Rosberg or Max Verstappen. In rallycross, father and son racing is commonplace, but it is rather more unusual for a driver’s daughter to enter the discipline.
To have a father and two daughters competing in rallycross, and at the same time, is almost unheard of.
Dave Bellerby is regarded as one of the most accomplished drivers in the British rallycross paddock, having won championships in both front- and rear-wheel drive. He has made sporadic appearances behind the wheel in recent seasons, while also helping his daughters, Paige, 20, and Drew, 17, to run a pair of cars. In 2015, all three won a British Championship event in their respective categories; Dave in RX150, Paige in Supernational and Drew in the Junior division.
The older of the sisters, Paige, was brought up on rallycross and moved to the sport after a year in autograss when she was 12. Immediately competitive in the Junior RX class, she won the title in 2010 – the youngest female ever to win a British rallycross category crown.
Since mid-way through 2014, she has raced a Lotus Exige in Supernational, not too dissimilar to that in which her father dominated the class in 2006 and 2007. Having got to grips with the supercharged rear-drive machine, Paige won the final round at Croft last season.
Drew will graduate to the senior Swift category for this season having spent the last two years battling for Junior honours. In both years she’s won events, and only missed out on the title in finalround deciders. The youngest of the trio says she feels no pressure to perform, despite the success of her father and sister. “All Dad and Paige do is encourage me, and to win is just a bonus for us.” says Drew. “We go out there to have fun and to win is even better. It was disappointing to just miss out on the title again last year.”
Rallycross weekends for the Bellerbys are a busy affair, but experienced racer Dave says he wouldn’t have it any other way, and to see his daughters succeed is very nearly as good as racing himself.
“Paige was coming racing when she was only a baby, sleeping in the back of a Transit van,” he explains. “Then when Drew came along, soon they were both there all the time. I don’t push them to do it, they want to. Just watching them race is brilliant – they don’t need to win for me, but when you see them do particularly well, it’s overwhelming. I’m not one to show emotion, but it does choke you up a bit. I suppose it’s every dad’s dream. The key to it all is that they wouldn’t have a car to race if they didn’t fix it themselves, so we all work in the garage together most nights when we need to.”
Building on strong performances last term, both sisters are aiming for silverware this season. Podiums in the Swift Sport class are a realistic prospect for Drew in her first year in the class, while Paige is targeting the Supernational title. “I’m getting there slowly with the Lotus,” says Paige. “I’m understanding how to drive it a lot better. I want number one this year.”
Both girls are keen to see their father race at the sport’s highest level too. “Neither of us are happy for Dad to just watch, we want him to be racing too,” continues Paige.
Bellerby Sr has made the odd Supercar appearance previously, and says that is likely to be his next move this season. “I’m reasonably happy to watch the girls race, but I think my next move will be into a Supercar. It’s unlikely to be early in the season, but hopefully towards the end of the year, that’s where I intend to be.”
There’s no doubt that in the Bellerby family, rallycross runs in the blood, and Paige and Drew are proving that success can too. ■