DURING her successful inter-county career, former Tyrone senior ladies football captain Gemma Begley was renowned for her tenacity and competitive nature and if her appearance on the Formula Female One Lap Challenge is anything to go by, she hasn’t lost that edge.
The Carrickmore club-woman was invited by Formula Female founder, Nicci Daly to take part in the event against 14 other high-profile Irish sports women at Mondello Park where they would go head-to-head behind the wheel of a BMW M2 to see who is the fastest – much like Top Gear’s Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
The event, which you can now watch on the RTE Player, was a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ for Begley, who hung up her Tyrone shirt not long after their All-Ireland Intermediate Championship success in 2018.
“It was class! I’d be a bit if an adrenaline junky anyway. I’m not really the biggest motorsports fan watching it, but I suppose I’d have been rallying about or wrecking about on rollercoasters or whatever, so it was a brilliant experience,” beamed Gemma, who admits to being a bit surprised by her pace on the day.
While she impressed during her four practice laps and four times laps, Gemma doesn’t think she will be moving behind the wheel competitively any time soon, especially after the ‘slagging’ she’s had to endure since the programme has been made available.
“It gave me a wee taste for motorsport and Nicci, the main organiser of it, was on to me about go-karts being the next thing for me to try my hand at, but I don’t know about racing I might be better leaving my reputation intact,” she joked.
“I’m massively grateful for the opportunity because it was probably a once in a lifetime opportunity to get to do that.
“There was some slagging about my ‘game face’ but it goes to show I was in the zone!
“I was gritting the teeth because once you’re in it you’re concentrating so hard to try to win it.”
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