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Beauty finalist Jemma’s a banger racing champ

Pharmacist technician student Jemmas a champion banger racer.

Pharmacist technician student Jemmas a champion banger racer.

By day she’s a student pharmacist technician, but Jemma Kerr has an interesting alter-ego.

Pretty Jemma was a finalist in this year’s Miss Blackpool competition, so it comes as a shock to learn that she’s a champion banger racer.

The sport sees men and women take to the track in cars which have failed their MOTs – bangers – and try to crash the competition out of the race.

And Jemma’s so good at it she’s won around 10 races this year and taken home two trophies.

The 21-year-old, of Thornton, said: “It’s just something the family has always done. I’ve grown up around banger racing.”

And now, after eight years on the track, Jemma is celebrating a new sponsorship deal with Fylde Coast Metals on Chorley Road, Blackpool, which will pay for her old bangers.

She said: “It can cost a lot to get the cars and you might need a few a season, depending on how smashed up they get.”

And Jemma’s quite used to getting a bit “smashed up”.

“The worst crash I’ve had was when I knocked myself out in May, 2011,” she admits.

“The race was stopped so I could be pulled out and St John’s Ambulance could check me over.”

Apart from a few bumps on her knees from her steering wheel and a couple of whiplash injuries, Jemma’s largely unscathed.

Jemma’s love of the sport comes from her dad, John, 61, and brother Anthony, 27.

Her mother, she says, doesn’t attend races.

“She won’t stop me racing because she knows I enjoy it, but she’s scared I’ll get hurt so she doesn’t watch,” she said.

“My friends don’t believe me and when I show them photos they think I’m crazy, but it comes naturally to me.

“It’s a huge stress relief and I think my knowledge on the track has made me a safer driver on the roads.”

Jemma, a former Millfield Science and Performing Arts College pupil, is currently studying to be a pharmacist technician at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

She said: “This is my dream job and I really can’t wait to qualify. Banger racing is fun but working in the hospital is really rewarding and it’s what I really want to do.”

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