For most 16-year-olds, their motoring ambitions are limited to nagging their parents into letting them reverse the family car down the driveway, and relentlessly mastering Gran Turismo as though it’s going to help them the day they turn 17 and can finally start learning to drive.
Things are slightly different for teenage Californian Rosalee Ramer, whose daily-driver weighs 4.5 tonnes, is capable of doing 30-foot jumps and can crush smaller cars. Yes, as you’ve probably guessed from the above pictures, she is America’s youngest monster truck driver.
With a competition history already stretching back two years, Ramer enters more than 20 events a year with her truck ‘Detour’, which is decorated with ‘Princess’ number plates.
Speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle, she describes what it’s like to drive the mammoth truck: “Just being in a truck that loud, feeling it under you, stepping on the throttle, it almost doesn't feel real. You feel like you're in a different world.
“You're taking something that weighs 10,000 pounds and with a tiny touch of the throttle, you can just roast the tyres.”
Despite monster truck racing traditionally being dominated by men, Rosalee finds that far from being her hindrance, her age and gender can actually be an advantage when competing.
“You can tell when they don't want ‘the little girl’ to beat them,” she said. “So they try going for something they wouldn't normally do, and then they crash or break a wheel off.”
Rosalee’s interest in monster trucks began at the tender age of three, when she would help her father – a fellow enthusiast – fix engines by holding a torch so he could see.
“She understands the machines inside and out. I believe in nurturing my kids and their love,” Mr Ramer said, reported the Daily Mail.
Rosalee is currently in the process of designing the first ever fuel-injection system for a monster truck, which she plans to fit into her new project vehicle, which she’s nicknamed ‘Wild Flower’.
Picture: Facebook/Rosalee Ramer