In the fast-paced world of motorsport, Renee Gracie is trying to take things slowly.
After a lengthy hiatus from the sport to focus on a career as an adult entertainer on OnlyFans, the two-time Bathurst 1000 starter isn’t getting too far ahead of herself upon returning to racing.
In 2023, she made her GT World Challenge Australia debut in the third-tier Trophy Series in a V10-powered Audi R8.
At the season-ending Adelaide 500, she’ll step up to the second-tier Amateur class in a newer Audi that will put her on par with the leading Pro/Am entries.
The only thing separating her and the top drivers is experience, success, and her status as a “Bronze” driver under the FIA’s grading system.
The Adelaide 500 marks Gracie’s first opportunity to race in a contemporary sports car.
It was to be the next step before a move to the United States to race in the equivalent GT World Challenge series.
However, those plans have been put on ice amid fears it could be another case of taking too big a leap too soon.
Instead, Gracie is aiming to contest GT World Challenge Australia in full next year.
“We were looking at doing stuff in America, OnlyFans had interest to do stuff there,” Gracie told Wide World of Sports.
“One thing that I learned from my past career in motorsport is jumping on opportunities and taking them – which obviously we need to do, but sometimes doing that too quickly.
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“That was ultimately ruining my future chances and it was making moves too soon and thinking I was doing something and realising that it sort of had its repercussions. I should have stayed around an extra year longer.
“I think we’ve reined ourselves back in and we’ve realised that we’re sort of being sucked into that whole thing all over again.
“I’m really just hoping to potentially get in a newer car, stay in Australia, stay on the same tracks and just have another year of learning and growing as a racing car driver again and seeing where next year takes me.”
Gracie began racing go karts before stepping up into Porsche racing in 2013. She spent two years in that category before moving across into the second-tier Supercars series, Super2.
She didn’t enjoy much success there, but as the leading female in Australian motorsport she was given an opportunity to race in the 2015 Bathurst 1000 in just her third year racing cars.
Joined by Simona De Silvestro, the pair finished 21st and 14th in their two campaigns at Mount Panorama in 2015 and 2016.
It was after her last Bathurst 1000 start that Gracie stepped away from the sport.
This year, she enjoyed a solid return to racing in GT World Challenge Australia.
Despite being in an older Audi R8, she ran competitively at times and on the tail end of some of the newer cars. In a small field, she won the Trophy Series outright.
A chance to get on equal terms in a brand new Audi is something the 28-year-old is eager to experience, going up against some elite-level platinum- and gold-rated GT3 drivers.
“In the beginning and at the start of the year, obviously the intention was to come back to be in a category where I wasn’t disrupting people who were doing it properly and professionally, like the guys at the front,” she explained.
“It was taking acknowledgement of the fact that I had been out for a long period of time – and obviously it was gonna take a full season essentially to dust off those cobwebs and to get back into a routine and a rhythm.
“Surprisingly, it actually came back to me and it was something that I think is quite obvious that it progressed very naturally and very well over the year.
“The opportunity arose to get in a new car for the end of the year and I thought that I would just take it purely because I think I’ve done everything I needed to do in the older car.
“I’m really happy with where I’m at.”