She may be eyeing off the Miss V8 Supercars crown but Britta Warn is not just a pretty face. She also knows a thing or two about cars. The 24-year-old Cammeray resident has an honours degree in industrial design and is the brains behind the "san.s Seating System"- a sit, store and secure front seating system to maximise the interior space of light vehicles.
"It's ironic my two passions - design and fitness - have collided," Ms Warn said. "My automotive knowledge should come in handy when I'm quizzed on V8s as part of the Supercars competition." Ms Warn fell into beauty pageants a year ago after vowing to start a health kick through winter to avoid putting on weight.
She hired a trainer, changed her diet and entered the Miss Snow Bunny winter model search. "I thought, the only way I'm going to force myself to get bikini ready is to enter a competition where I have to wear a bikini," she said.
Describing herself as "naturally curvy", Ms Warn said her new regime of weight training and watching calorie intake saw her drop kilos and change her body shape. "I now have abs, which is bizarre."
While there might be negative stereotypes about 'grid girls' being 'airheads' and 'self-obessed', Ms Warn said pageants also required entrants to showcase a wide range of skills, including the ability to be articulate, confident and creative.
And far from encouraging young women to be superficial, Ms Warn said competitions were "grounding" because they taught girls how to be gracious in defeat. "I can now deal with criticism in other aspects of my life much better," she said.
"I always get nervous before walking out on the catwalk but its challening and confidence-boosting." Twenty women from across Australia and New Zealand are vying for the Miss V8 Supercars crown at the Armor All Gold Coast 600 this weekend.
● 20 beauties from across Australia and New Zealand are vying for the Miss V8 Supercars model crown at the ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600 this week.
● Finalists will be judged on their photographic performance, interviews, sportswear and bikini wear before the winner is named on Friday 26 October.
● In the past year, Ms Warn has been named a national finalist in the Miss Snow Bunny and Miss Bondi pageants and was chosen for a Maxim Magazine calendar shoot.