Becky Evans, aka Queen B, is shaking up the automotive industry through social media - and now she's taking on her biggest challenge yet...
Over 40,000 YouTube subscribers. Over 70,000 followers on Instagram. It’s safe to say that Becky Evans, aka Queen B, is a phenomenon.
Even at the age of 26, Evans has almost two decades of experience in the automotive industry, and is translating her knowledge and enthusiasm for motoring into hundreds of thousands of viewers, all the while creating a brand that occupies what was once uncharted territory.
When asked what kind of content does the best on her YouTube channel, Evans immediately mentions her early Girls Guide To series, where she explains the pros and cons of various cars in her signature chatty and informative style. She explains that this openness was totally intentional, ‘I want to create content that speaks to a new generation of car lovers, that are a bit into their fashion, that do like music, that do like culture. I was talking to them, and I felt like I was the first to do that like a mate.’
Now, Evans is taking on a new challenge: the adrenaline-fuelled world of drift racing, as documented in the online show, Drift Queen. In Evans’ inimitable style, when presented with this opportunity, she was all in. Her immediate reaction? ‘I thought, “Oh my god, this is great. This kind of opportunity doesn’t come round that often: we need to grab it with both hands.”’
We spoke to Becky Evans about her family’s influence, the future of the automotive industry, and a certain BMW that is close to her heart…
Tell me about your family background – I understand that they were motor sport enthusiasts?
‘Yep! My mum had an old Mustang, and my dad has been very heavily involved in drag racing – I grew up around the racetrack, he was always there. I started go-karting when I was eight and was about fourteen when I got my dragster. It’s always been a constant in my life, I guess’
‘It was like the Internet had never seen a young girl with a vintage car before!’
What are your first memories of racing?
‘My first memory of going to a racetrack is from when I was about two. I was with my dad, standing in a structure over the starting line of a racetrack in Scotland. I remember crying because I couldn’t understand why the car was so loud. I remember being like, ‘What the hell is that?’ – and that was the thing I grew to love so much!’
Where did the inspiration for starting your Instagram come from?
‘Let’s start with the name – I picked it when I was a teenager and thought it was cool, and then it stuck! I have to keep telling people, “No, I don’t think I’m a queen bee” – it’s like having an email address that you made when you’re 13!
But my account itself grew organically. Once I got out of racing, I wanted to stay around cars, so I posted photos of the modification I did on my car at the time, and when I built my BMW E-21 [Red] and brought that out, things went nuts. It was like the Internet had not seen a young girl with vintage car before. It sounds ridiculous, but I owe a lot to that car – we’ve been on this crazy journey together!’
‘If I’ve experienced sexism, it’s gone straight over my head’
Are you surprised by the number of followers you have?
‘It’s crazy, isn’t it! I post stuff that I want to see, and I guess people dug it. My home crowd are people who are into cars, but my passion is to transcend that and translate what I enjoy so much into something for a person who wouldn’t necessarily be into cars.’
What hurdles have you faced entering into the automotive industry? Do you think that being a woman has made things more difficult?
‘I don’t think my gender has had an effect. If anything, it’s not sexism that I’ve encountered, but elitism: if I have experienced sexism it’s gone straight over my head. Honestly, I’m a girl from Coventry who grew up modifying cars and going to car meets at Tesco car park, and a lot the of industry is kind of dominated by the upper echelons. I haven’t come up against any real negativity because I’m a girl.’
Your new show, Drift Queen, is incredible. What made you want to take up the challenge?
‘I started working with Red Bull on some videos about a year ago, so when Drift Queen came my way, I was like, “This is sick!” [Drifting] speaks to me in a way that drag racing always did – it’s a grassroots sport and you don’t need a lot of money to get into it. It was also a new challenge: I’ve done modifying cars, I’ve done car reviews, I’ve done drag racing… it gave me an opportunity to stretch myself and a look at a different part of the industry.
Also, once you get it, you’re so elated and it is such a buzz. I want to get as many people involved as possible – it’s just great fun.’
‘The automotive industry is becoming more accessible’
What is most exciting to you about the future of the industry?
‘For me, it’s the fact that automotive is changing. It’s becoming more accessible, there are new ideas and there are new people coming into it.
The traditional manufacturing giants are opening their eyes to this new wave of car lovers, and are offering me opportunities that they wouldn’t have previously. There’s a lot of hype about electric cars too and energy changes. I’m excited about the future, for sure.’