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Kate Peck’s African adventure

Kate Peck plays dirty. Away from her high-profile roles as a model and TV presenter, Peck’s passion is for powering two and four-wheeled vehicles across mud, dust, snow or sand roads.

Peck attributes the desire to test her motoring talents in challenging terrain to a motorcycle ride through Africa with her father.

“I learned how to ride a motorcycle before I got a car,” she says. “I was 18 and rode a scooter out of necessity.

“I got the bug when I took my first big trip to Africa with my father and step-mum. I was 19 or 20 and rode a Kawasaki KLR 650 through South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. I flew into Cape Town and we spent two and a bit months going to the most remote places — like the Swartberg Pass Road (South Africa).”

The interest in four wheels evolved after she served as Australian Grand Prix ambassador in 2012. Her first car was a 2007 Subaru Impreza but a Honda is the car that stands out in her formative four-wheeled career.

“My funniest decision was a 1998 Prelude. It was quite a good car and very sporty for its age.”

These days she can indulge her motoring passions with the best of the Mini and BMW Motorrad range. A Mini Cooper D, the transport over the holiday break, was an interim step between handing in the keys to a Mini Cooper JCW and awaiting the arrival of a similarly sporty Mini Countryman early next year. An 1170cc BMW R NineT is the alternative motorvation.

“I’m in (inner-city) Darlinghurst, so the Mini is just perfect for parking,” Peck says.

She rates herself as a reasonably calm driver but says her move to Sydney is slowly sending her to the dark side. She has little time for those who can’t master basic road etiquette.

“Every peak hour, every kind of horrendous human congregates at the same time in the same place,” she laments.

“As a rider I know drivers ignore me but these days they deliberately ignore people in cars and trucks. It is bizarre.”

Peck rates Bluetooth music streaming as her fave in-car feature.

“It’s a good day if you can take the roof off and pump the Bluetooth up,” she says.

A 1970s-era Chevy Corvette convertible would be her dream car — presumably tricked up with modern audio.

Craig Duff

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