Jessica Yates: Loves life in the fast lane
Jessica Yates: Loves life in the fast lane

Supercars passenger, Moto GP pillion and ‘massive revhead’

FOXTEL presenter Jessica Yates loves life in the fast lane. The host of Fox Sports V8 coverage regularly gets to ride along with some of Australia's leading racing drivers on our most daunting tracks.

But for sheer adrenaline she says nothing compares with a ride on the back of a Moto GP two-seater with Australian motorsport legend Mick Doohan at the Phillip Island track.

"It was pretty wild. It was one of the most terrifying things I've ever done," Yates says.

"You can't contemplate how exposed they are until you experience it for yourself, how high the speeds are, how physically demanding it is and how much focus and concentration you must have over such a long period of time under extreme duress."

Jessica Yates:
Jessica Yates:

She says experiences such as the Phillip Island ride help her to understand the high stakes involved in motorsport and communicate them to her audience.

"The drivers and riders are putting their lives on the line every time they jump in a car or on a bike," she says.

Yates is not content to sit in the passenger seat, though. She and her husband, former pro surfer Luke Egan, share a passion for fast cars.

They had an Audi RS4 until they traded it in for something more sedate in the form of a Volkswagen Touareg diesel SUV when their daughter arrived.

"I'm a massive revhead and my husband is an even bigger revhead than me. He says that if he hadn't become a professional surfer he would have become a racing driver," she says.

She's been lucky enough to drive numerous high-performance cars on and off the track, most recently taking the wheel of a Ferrari 488 GTB, then a 488 Spider at Sydney Motorsport Park. "They are just beautiful cars," she says.

And a far cry from the car Yates learned to drive in, a Mitsubishi Nimbus people-mover.

"It didn't have power steering so it was a very difficult car to learn to drive in," she says.

She bought her first car - a Nissan Pulsar - when she was accepted into a journalism course at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst.

"I ended up being the taxi service from Bathurst to Sydney. I'd collect petrol money off anyone who wanted a lift and it was the perfect answer to what I needed," she says.

The Pulsar made way for a Honda CR-V that became a home on wheels.

"When you're a young adult you virtually live out of your car, so I had half my wardrobe in there. It becomes a quasi-apartment, you hang out in it, eat in it and sleep in it if you need to," she says.

The Touareg now fills that role for the family. "It's a really good comfortable family car. You can put surfboards on the roof, all our camping gear in the back, much like what we had when I was a child," she says.

Eventually, the couple will trade it in on something that gets the pulse racing again.

"After driving the 488 Spider, that is my dream car. It is absolutely beautiful," she says.


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