A COMPETITIVE streak drives Logie Hall-of-Fame inductee Kerri-Anne Kennerley. The television host lists her three appearances in the Australian Grand Prix celebrity race as highlights of her four-wheeled experience.
"He who brakes last for the corner takes the corner,” is her adage after undergoing advanced driving courses before each race.
"Nobody can pass on the straight because all the cars are the same. I never won but never bingled or put a scratch on a car.”
That all-in approach is not surprising from a woman who was driven to leave Australia as a teenager for a short-term stint as a cabaret singer in the US. She returned to Australia five years later to establish a huge TV following.
Aside from the Grand Prix, Kennerley rates steering Tom Selleck's Ferrari 308 from the Magnum TV series in Hawaii and driving a Leopard tank as among her most memorable experiences.
"My first driving experience was on my dad's Massey Ferguson grey tractor on our farm,” she recalls. "He helped me buy my first car, a beige Torana. It had no heating, no aircon and no power steering and I loved it.
"In New York I drove a most beautiful British racing green E-Type Jaguar. Fast forward to driving back in Australia when we returned and I got a Mini Moke. It was great in summer but awful in winter when I was driving to work at 4am for Good Morning Australia.”
These days Kerri-Anne drives a Toyota Kluger - her third example of the SUV.
"I immediately loved it because it drives like a car, not a tank, getting in is easy without having to climb up as with many other four-wheel drives, it has all the bells and whistles that work easily, the boot opens on approach when you have groceries and when your keys are in your handbag,” she says.
"I can fit a couple of set of golf clubs (in the back) and my golden retriever Digger has a hammock so he doesn't scratch the seats and fall into the floor well in the back seat. All up I love the car. I have had several and don't see I will change for a long time.”
If she did switch, she has her sights on an Aston Martin. "I love the cars - the looks, the sound. It is a dream car, it is not as if it is a day-to-day proposition - there'd be another one for that.”
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