Duggan conquers the mountain
Emily Duggan has recorded the fastest-ever timed lap for a Hyundai Excel at Australia’s most famous racetrack, Mount Panorama, setting a 3:00.674 in her Penrite/Supashock/Winmax race car at yesterday’s Challenge Bathurst event.
The Dural driver punched out a time more than a second faster than the previous best for an Excel at the mountain, and expressed her overwhelming adoration for the 6.2 kilometre venue.
“The thoughts running through my mind during the first session were just unbelievable,” Duggan said.
“After my first lap I was thinking ‘I can’t believe anyone would be crazy enough to drive a race car around this place’ but I maintained focus, concentrated on my lines and braking points and after a few more laps I was in love with the mountain.
“I kept building up my confidence, increasing my corner speeds and by the last session I had an understanding of what I needed to do to achieve a fast time.
“In an Excel, the first turn, Hell Corner, makes or breaks your lap because you cannot afford to lose any speed up Mountain Straight.
“On my best lap, I had a good run through Hell Corner and the sector reference time looked good, so I kept pushing. I was committed all the way over the top – in the Excel you are at 100 per cent throttle from the Cutting to the braking zone for the Esses, and I danced the car down the hill.
“Forrest Elbow is important as well because of the long run down Con-Rod Straight, and I managed to nail the exit and I had a clear run all the way through the Chase and to the finish line.
“Knowing I had the performance of Winmax brake pads for the heavy braking zones, and Supashock Suspension for optimum handling with all the elevation changes, made it a lot easier for me to push the Excel to its limits.
“Having now driven at Mount Panorama, I can understand and appreciate why racing drivers become addicted to the track and I can’t wait to race there in the future,” Duggan concluded.