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Age proves no barrier to duo's life in the fast lane

NEED FOR SPEED: Seventy-four-year-olds Jill and Ken Nelson are Mini Cooper racers.
NEED FOR SPEED: Seventy-four-year-olds Jill and Ken Nelson are Mini Cooper racers. Sarah Harvey

THE STARTING grid of a race track is typically the domain of testosterone-fuelled men preparing to test their car engine's limits and their skill on the track.

Despite the stereotype, 74-year-old married couple Jill and Ken Nelson still mix it with their rivals on the Historic Racing Car Club race meet, to be held in Warwick this month.

The pair are finalising their preparations on the classic cars ahead of the meet in a weekend's time.

The Leichhardt couple's life-long involvement in the sport, racing a Mini Cooper S, is a love they can not stay away from.

The pair met in their early 20s and ever since they've had an involvement in the sport.

Mr Nelson has continued his racing career all the way into his 70s.

Mrs Nelson followed her husband's passion for racing and took up the sport herself.

She put her racing ambitions to one side to raise her children, but returned to the track - as a 60-year-old.

The hobby provides Mrs Nelson with an adrenaline rush most 70-year-olds would not experience.

"I can say the adrenaline rush - most people when they are 74 have got a few aches and pains - it lasts for a week.

"I race against all the men, depending on the classification I compete fairly well.

"Most of the people that go to the track sort of know me pretty well. But the other day I went into a shop to buy some shoes. He asked me what I was doing in Warwick and I said motor racing and he was amazed."

The pair has a healthy rivalry and have taken to the track together in the pursuit of glory.

Mrs Nelson said she almost beat her husband during a head-to-head sprint race on one occasion.

National Historic Race meeting at Warwick's Morgan Park on July 12 and 13.

Over the weekend a diverse and exciting field of Groups C and A Touring Cars will be racing for class and outright honours in round three of the 2014 Heritage Touring Cars Championship.



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