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’Painting her own path’ – 962 Abbie Deeprose Interview

Abbie Deeprose is a well-known personality around the raceways. Her ArtByAbz page is followed by just shy of 5k followers, whilst she is also making an impact on track.

Abbie has been around the raceways from a very young age, through her family roots, something which she expands on in more detail. ‘It’s all I can remember since being young! My parents used to race for years, until it was time for my brother to start. There was no better buzz than watching family race every weekend, so it was only in the blood to join in. We didn’t really have any other hobbies.’ 

A common theme in our interviews is that racing is hereditary, and many of Abbie’s early memories come from watching her family around the ovals. ‘When I was younger the main memories I had were going to local tracks such as Standlake, Ringwood, Mendips and Taunton. Every weekend without fail we would go watch racing, or my dad or mum would be racing somewhere. I remember going to Wimbledon once; I can’t remember what meeting it was but it was savage! I’ve been put off of post and wire since!’ Abbie laughs. The memories that stand out were watching my dad in Mondeos and Bluebirds or of my brother when he used to race the Standlake Juniors in the minis.’

It wouldn’t be long before Abbie got the opportunity to have a go herself however. ‘The first time I raced was when I was 13 or 14. It was a Ford KA at Ringwood Cheetahs in the Junior Bangers. I had a 5th, 2nd and a 3rd, and straight after that I was hooked and saved up to start non contacts.’

It’s not often that you find many Banger drivers come through from non-contact classes, but Abbie pays tribute to the fact it certainly helped her learn the ropes well. ‘I feel like they were a massive help to start with. It’s a good way to build confidence and teach you the basics of racing and a lot less time consuming also,’ she laughs. Once her time was up in the non-contacts, it was straight back to Bangers though. ‘I always wanted to race bangers. The non-contacts were just part time to start off with and to find my feet! I’ve always wanted to race alongside my brother in the bangers, so when the time was right we built a banger.’

Since that point Abbie has progressed steadily, and has begun to make challenges at the business end of races, including winning the Bangers Down West Open at her local track of Mendips last year. ‘It’s hard to say what has been a highlight for me. Every 2 Litre meeting for me that I have done is a highlight in itself! I absolutley love them! It’s such a good feeling to be out there with my brother and our team mate; especially the dds! The Back to Basics when me and Mac have had our own little war going on, smashing each other up was a good buzz! I won both 1600 finals last year at Mendips in the fiesta that was built in 2 days which will forever make me laugh! The races where I have started midway-back of the pack and worked my way up, that’s always a good challenge!’

Abbie more than holds her own out on track, even being the recipient of a ban from the Rookie Bangers at Mendips last year. I asked whether she feels that there is a different stigma around herself being a female in a male dominant sport. ‘I’ve honestly never thought of it as any different,’ Abbie admits. ‘I don’t expect to be treated any differently for my gender. I’ve had it before where people have apologised for hitting me but I’m out there for the exact same reason everyone else is and expect to be treated the same. A few people haven’t liked it in the past, but it didn’t get them any further,’ she laughs. Abbie highly recommends anyone to get into the sport, despite their gender. ‘Just get out there and have some fun! Stick to what you’re comfortable with, and do it for yourself; no one else!’

We mentioned in the introduction about ArtByAbz, Abbie’s business centred around racing art in particular. Abbie discusses how it all came about, and how racing has had a massive influence on her day-to-day life. ‘So it came about around 5-6 years ago – I would come home from work and have some spare time. I done the odd bit in school, but never fully focused on it, so I started drawing, but to begin with they were absolutely terrible! People kept telling me to carry on and would say sarcastically that they were good, and it was that sarcasm that got me to where I am today. Around 2 years ago I left my paint spraying job to take on my business full time, due to it being soo busy. I cannot thank the race community enough! My business is heavily banger/stockcar based, and being involved in the sport myself it definitely helps my customer base and helps me push my business further most definitely.’

So what can we expect to see from Abbie in 2024? ‘Due to missing out on a lot of 2023, I would love to get out on track as much as possible,’ she reveals. ‘My aim is to try and qualify for Mendips PRI World Final again, but this year actually compete in it! I’d like to do as many meetings as I can fit in I guess and hopefully some more 2 Litres! I would also love to try some new tracks. Business wise, I’m forever coming up with new ideas! My list is huge on what I want to do this year, so expect to see lots more products for sure!’

As is always the case, we got Abbie to identify her dream 6-a-side team. ‘Corr that’s a hard one!’ Abbie admits. ‘961 Brad Deeprose of course! 262 Rob Bugler and 252 Steve Bugler, as they can pilot anything as well as crash! 552 Karl Douglas is a top driver too and needs no explanation! Then 67 Rickie Beasley to finish, again the man can do both! All can crash, all can get a car round, and they can do all that while I rip wheels off,’ Abbie jokes. ‘I would have had Mac in there somewhere but he would only write me off anyway so that would be no good!’

Abbie would like to conclude with some notes of appreciation to those around her. ‘Even though my circle isn’t the biggest, it’s the best team I could ask for! A huge thank you to my brother, because honestly without him I wouldn’t be out there at all! He makes everything possible and will be down the yard all hours until my cars are ready. Of course the other half, Mac, for giving me a hand. Millsy 404 the 2002 Autospeed World Champion (if no one knew this yet) for the transport and cars he’s provided. Stokesy on the spanners, and last but not least Dan and Danielle for everything they have done for me. Oh, and of course Lois for being my biggest supporter with little Bonnie! It wouldn’t be possible without them all.’

We’d like to thank Abbie for taking the time out and wish her the best for the upcoming season. Her first meeting of the year is at Mendips on the 17th March where she is set to defend the Bangers Down West Open for 1600 National Bangers.

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