Surelinc Toyota 86 racer Emily Duggan has recorded the best result of her rookie T86RS season at this weekend’s RABBLE.club Sandown 500, finishing 13th with a storming drive in the third and final race.
After dialling herself into the circuit throughout practice and qualifying, Duggan focused on staying out of trouble during variable weather conditions in Races 1 and 2.
“The first two races were tough to call, it was on the verge of rain and hail and both races could have gone either way – unfortunately we made the wrong call for setups,” Duggan said.
With renewed confidence and some well-judged adjustments to her car, Duggan immediately set about charging forward in Race 3. She overtook four cars in the first three laps, and gained a place at each of the two Safety Car restarts with textbook moves into Turn 1.
On the final lap of the race, Duggan skilfully avoided a multi-car pileup that unfolded on the back straight, to score her highest placing of the season.
“As a team, we never gave up and in the last race we had genuine speed – before the crash on the last lap, I had made up eight positions,” Duggan said.
“I had just passed another car into Turn 1 and was on the hunt for the four cars in front of me, I closed the gap between Turns 2 and 3 and coming into Turn 4 my eyes were set on the exit and I could see the accident happening up ahead.
“My natural instinct kicked in and my eyes darted to find a gap. As the four cars in front all followed into the crash, I aimed for the gap and safely made it through.
“As well as being a well-deserved reward for my crew and all the sponsors who have supported me through my journey, this result is a massive confidence boost for me heading to the holy grail, the Bathurst 1000 in three weeks.”
Toyota 86 Series – Round 4 Results Summary
Qualifying – 31st
Race 1 – 31st
Race 2 – 30th
Race 3 – 13th