Growing up for Sarah Burgess never followed the typical path for a young girl – following a sporting career that started at the age of 5 with BMX, moving into Triathlons, Cycling, Kayaking, then switching up to represent Australia for Inline Speed Skating and also Short Track Speed Skating, challenges and competition became the standard for Sarah.
Then came the passion for the automotive industry, first it was a simple Test n’ Tune at the local track, then in 2000, Sarah had the opportunity of a business trip to the USA to meet with vendors and watch the NHRA Pomona Winternationals. Getting to see a 325mph pass got Sarah hooked on racing, and wanting to do more to sink her teeth in to the performance automotive world. From this point on Sarah became more involved in the industry opening a performance automotive business with her partner Adam Burgess, becoming a distributor for a variety of American automotive manufactures. Over the period of the last 14 years Sarah has learned a variety of skills including:
– Installation of ECU’s and Data Acquisition
– Diagnostics EFI Mapping (Tuning)
– Installation of turbos, injectors, fuel systems
– Product sales and service, technical support
Of course from the opportunity of building performance vehicles, it provides the same opportunity driving higher horsepower vehicles under a controlled situation – this causing the bug to bite even more for racing. Sarah attended some track events in between her busy schedule of customer work and prototyping new products, but knowing that living in Australia can only take you so far and knowing that America is the land of opportunity Sarah and her family moved to the USA to pursue her goals and achievements.
Sarah started off as Team Manager for BMI Racing when their first drift car (a Mazda RX8) was built, but this also included fabricating parts, installing the electrical system and providing marketing opportunities for BMI Racing’s partners.
In 2011 Sarah stepped back into the driver’s seat, once again adding another profession to her busy schedule, and competed in Xtreme Drift Circuit in Seattle WA and Dallas TX.
2012 brought a change to the BMI Racing team stepping up to an 700hp Ford Mustang running a 5.0L Coyote Engine with a 2.9L Whipple Supercharger – Sarah stepped up to the challenge of driving this beast and competed in a variety of drift events across the country including the Xtreme Drift Circuit and East Coast Bash. At the time Sarah was the only female drifting on a national level.
Opportunities broadened in 2013 for Sarah as she moved into her second year drifting the Ford Mustang. In between her competition events throughout the year that included competing at Hyperfest at Summit Point Raceway and Midwest Drift Union on the Streets of Detroit; Sarah spent time at the automotive technical college WyoTech, talking with the new students during their first day of school being a role model and mentor within the automotive industry.
Never one to step down from a challenge and always reaching for bigger and better opportunities in 2015 Sarah competed in her rookie year of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series in the Pro Lite class. The series also known as LOORRS hit dirt tracks in California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. Sarah flies through the air as much as 15ft high and 120ft long in a 3400lb truck and banging doors with 19 other drivers on the track. The Pro Lite class is considered to be one of the most challenging classes in the series based on its spec rule book.
2016 was Sarah’s second year in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series and still the only female in the pro series; her and her team have made significant progress in speed on the track. Sarah became the first female to start on the front row of the pro-classes in 2016. Other notable achievements qualified 5th at round 13 of LOORRS Lake Elsinore, finished 10th at round 15 of LOORRS Chandler AZ, and 8th in the LOORRS Challenge Cup race.
In the last few years in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series she welcomed back Gear Alloy Wheels as her main partner for 2017; MAHLE and Bubba Burger returning for another year and Tires Pros coming on board as a new partner. 2017 and 2018 proved to be challenging with some tough competition, but Sarah managed to achieve seven top ten finishes and placed 10th in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Championship – her best finish this far in off road racing. In addition to the race Sarah made stops at Tire Pros dealers with her Gear Alloy Prolite, and also conducted Women’s Car Care Clinics across the USA.
Sarah is in her fifth season in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series in the prolite class.