Could this be Australia’s next race-driver star?

Could this be Australia’s next race-driver star?

LIFE may be just about to take a massive U-Turn for Alex Butler after a display of deft driving prowess has her seriously considering a switch to the fast lane. Butler, 22, dusted off 23 other ladies with the quickest lap time of the day at an inaugural all-women driving experience run by Audi at Mt Cotton, near Brisbane.

The competitive athlete, from the nearby Gold Coast, seemed genuinely surprised when she was named fastest on the day, saying she’d been the most tentative and careful in her group in all the exercises leading up to the main even. “I was being really careful when I was braking and cornering,” Butler says. But once she got into the weaving corridor of race cones, everything clicked and she felt the need for speed. Her lap time smashed by some seconds the best of the rest of us who’d been told a sub-32-second effort would be impressive. 

Perhaps Butler’s performance should come as no surprise given her background. She’s a competitive athlete in her own right, which might help explain her razor-sharp reflexes behind the wheel - an absolute prerequisite for any respectable race driver. But she’s also from a family of overachievers. Two weeks before this drive event, her mum, Michelle, won the Australian Masters Weight Lifting Championship in her weight and class. She’ll head to Barcelona in August to compete for our country in the World Championships.

Michelle also takes some credit for Alex’s driving abilities. “I taught her to drive in my Audi TT,” she says. Butler, meanwhile, recently took possession of her own Audi A3 while her father, David, drives an Audi A6.

It looked to anyone paying attention on the day that here was a girl who could be a real prospect in Australian motorsport - she’s lean, lithe, fit and athletic and has those lightening-quick reflexes. And she’s smart too, being part-way through a degree in physiotherapy.

That all sounds a bit dull on the other side of a successful drive day. So here’s a Madam Wheels prediction: this young woman looks like the full motorsports package and has the physical attributes and smarts to make it in a league without enough female talent. 

When we left Alex Butler that day, she was on a mission to explore how to work her way diligently through the necessary steps to success. 

We bet she can make it to the top.