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Interview: Rosie Millberg
Early in 2010 Sweden's first female drag racer, Rosie Millberg, announced that she was planning a comeback. Having previously raced an eight-second gas dragster Rosie aimed straight for the pinnacle on her return, licencing in one of Rune Fjeld's Top Fuel Dragsters.
Eurodragster.com spoke to Rosie on the eve of her first licencing passes which were scheduled for the Veidec Festival Press Day on Wednesday 28th July 2010.
Eurodragster.com: Tell us about your previous racing career.
Rosie Millberg: I began drag racing during 1973, and started to race in 1974 with my 1947 Ford which had a 454 Chevy engine. That was our tow car which we drove mostly for fun. Then I started to compete more seriously in a dragster 1977. It was a successful year. I only raced at Swedish tracks apart from one time at Santa Pod. Otherwise I was a mechanic for Anders Lantz when we raced. My best speed with the dragster, which ran on gasoline, was in the eights with a speed of 260 kmh.
Eurodragster.com: When did you stop racing?
Rosie Millberg: I had to quit racing after my second pregnancy at the end of 1977. When I gave birth to my son it ended up with difficult complications which made him handicapped. That was the end of my career in drag racing - I thought.
Eurodragster.com: What have you been doing whilst you have not been racing? Have you stayed in touch with racing or did you make a complete break?
Rosie Millberg: When I quit drag racing I started to search for a job where you use the car as a tool such as driving big trucks, lifting cranes etc. I was also attracted to jobs which involved a lot of teamwork, therefore I have been working with film and TV for over twenty five years.
Eurodragster.com: What gave you the idea to come back?
Rosie Millberg: It was my youngest daughter Sabine (above right) who came up with the idea. She realised my passion for dragracing and was the only one who believed in the crazy idea of seeing me drive again.
Eurodragster.com: What do you think is the biggest change between racing then and racing now?
Rosie Millberg: The cars are faster and more expensive to race but are more safe now.
Eurodragster.com: When we first heard about your driving a Top Fueller you were planning to run with Stig Neergaard, but now you are licencing in one of Rune Fjeld's cars. What happened?
Rosie Millberg: We couldn't agree completely about the details of the business deal, therefore we took the decision to co-operate with Rune instead. He is a great guy and we can’t thank him enough.
Eurodragster.com: What is the plan for Wednesday 28th July? Are you aiming to make a complete set of licencing passes?
Rosie Millberg: My goal on 28th July is to take the first steps towards a licence, so I will only make two runs. It's a question of money and time, which we are short of.
Eurodragster.com: What are your future racing plans?
Rosie Millberg: YoMamaCrew's future goal in racing is to have established a complete racing team at the end of the year. After my comeback I will give you a further statement about my future racing.
Eurodragster.com: How are you feeling about driving a Top Fueller. Nervous or excited?
Rosie Millberg: I love to challenge myself and I am looking forward with excitement to my first run. People have said "Why Top Fuel? Can't you drive in a lower class?". My answer to that is: Forget it! If I am going to make a comeback I will do it all-out and I don't live my life going half way to everything. I want to inspire myself and others by striving to reach to the top.
Eurodragster.com: What do your family think about your driving a Top Fueller?
Rosie Millberg: My family are really cool and calm about it.
Eurodragster.com: Tell us about the support from Kent Persson and Linda Thun Tønseth. What help are they giving you?
Rosie Millberg: Linda is my mentor. She is going to coach me in different ways through the driving session.
Eurodragster.com: Do you have any sponsors?
Rosie Millberg: Yes we do, but we are looking forward to having more sponsors in the future so that we can continue in drag racing.
Eurodragster.com: Is there anyone else you would like to thank?
Rosie Millberg: We would like to thank everyone who believes in us and everyone who has helped us.
Eurodragster.com: Thank you for your time Rosie and good luck with the licencing passes. We'll be there.
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