Mar 29, 2016
DUGGAN TO BECOME KUMHO V8'S FIRST FEMALE
Emily Duggan will become Australia’s latest female V8 Supercar driver, when she lines up on the grid for this weekend’s opening round of the Kumho Tyres V8 Touring Car Series, held as part of the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals at Melbourne’s Sandown Raceway.
Duggan will pilot the #15 R-Sport Race Engineering Holden VE Commodore, with backing from Penrite and Caradvice.com.au.
The Sydney driver can barely contain her excitement about becoming the first female driver in the Kumho Series – unofficially recognised as the third tier of national V8 competition – and becoming just the third female to race V8s in 2016 alongside Chelsea Angelo and Renee Gracie.
“My dream has always been to race V8 Supercars and I can hardly believe it’s going to become a reality for me this weekend,” Duggan said.
Duggan’s racing background is different to most; instead of taking the typical go-kart racing route, her circuit racing career began in the highly competitive NSW Excel Racing Series in 2014.
“I always loved cars and loved driving, but it wasn’t until I finished school and started full-time work that I was able to pursue my motorsport ambitions,” Duggan said.
“I attended some CAMS events and did some research, and the Excel Series seemed to be an ideal place to start my career.
“Because the cars are so evenly matched, racing in the Excel Series has taught me a lot about race-craft and how to overtake, and it’s also allowed me to forge contacts and relationships in the motorsport industry including my partnerships with Penrite and Car Advice, which will be invaluable as I take this next step.”
Duggan acknowledges that there will be a massive leap from the front-wheel-drive, four cylinder Hyundai Excel into a V8 Supercar with more than 600 horsepower, but is mentally prepared for the challenge that lies ahead.
“I have been doing everything I can to prepare myself for the transition, including a lot of simulator work and studying in-car footage and data,” Duggan said.
“Mark Robinson from R-Sport Race Engineering has been extremely supportive and he wants me to succeed.”
Competing amongst a richly talented Kumho Series field that includes 2014 Bathurst 1000 runner-up Taz Douglas, Duggan is realistic about her expectations for this weekend, with the aim of securing the financial backing to compete in the remainder of the series.
“As a racer, you always want to be up the front, but at the same time I know I will have a lot to learn, so the aim will be to increase my understanding of how to drive a V8 Supercar, keep improving over the weekend, and above all, to enjoy the experience,” Duggan said.
The Sydney-sider will embark on her debut on April 1 at Sandown Raceway.