To many people, rough dusty forest roads, or fast bitumen rally courses might not seem the province of women, but three generations of Kellys would argue that point.

Last weekend at the SunCoast Classic, a tarmac rally held north of Brisbane, June Kelly proudly watched her daughter, Catriona (Cate), and grand-daughter, Erin, put on their driving suits and helmets and head off into the distance at high speed.

June and husband, Bob, became involved in rallying in Victoria in 1959. Their four sons followed suit in the 1970s, and in 2003 Cate entered the sport. Cate is now one of Queensland’s top female co-drivers, and for the SunCoast she called the notes for Melinda Both in one of the Sherrin Motorsport BMWs as car zero.

Melinda is the state’s fastest female rally driver, and has competed in Targa Tasmania and the Mt Buller Sprint.

More recently the third generation of Kelly women become involved when Cate’s daughter, Erin, joined her uncle, Allan, in an Alpine Renault in 2005. However, in the SunCoast Erin was in the hot-seat beside Deon Attard in a supercharged Lotus Exige. They finished a creditable 21st in the Modern category, and 6th in class.

Erin is now looking forward to the Rockhampton round of the Queensland Championship where she will partner Melinda in a WRX, before returning to the Alpine.

June and Bob Kelly are proud of their “rally chicks”.

“When I was competing in the 1960s I never imagined my young daughter taking up the sport, let alone her daughter in turn,” June said. “It’s lovely to see them having so much fun and doing so well in what is largely a male-dominated sport.”

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