Eighth for Duggan in T86RS finale
Emily Duggan has closed out her maiden season in the Toyota 86 Racing Series with a well-earned eighth-place finish in the second race of the weekend at the Coates Hire Newcastle 500.
After qualifying 24th, Duggan’s typically strong race-craft came to the fore in Race 1 – she was able to make up four positions on her way to 20th.
Duggan’s strong race pace aboard the Surelinc Toyota 86 enabled her to continue marching forward in Race 2 – she progressed to 12th in the first eight laps with some hard-fought overtaking moves on the tight street circuit.
When another driver’s engine blew on the second last lap, several drivers were caught out by the slippery surface and speared into the wall, but Duggan safely negotiated her way through the pandemonium to cross the line in eighth, equalling the best result achieved by a female driver in the three-year history of the series.
“I improved my lap times between qualifying and Race 1, and in Race 2 I was faster again,” Duggan said.
“I was able to race hard and overtake people, and I have to say a big thank you to my crew for coming on the radio and warning me about the oil at Turn 1 – their awareness and communication enabled me to benefit from the incident rather than being involved in it.”
Duggan was again running strongly, just outside the top 10 in the third and final race, before contact from another competitor sent her spinning backwards into the wall at Turn 7. Fortunately, the damage to her 86 was mostly cosmetic, and she finished the race 24th to secure 12th for the weekend – her best overall result for the season.
“I’m really proud of my team for their tireless efforts and constant encouragement; since we came into the series at Townsville, we’ve improved significantly and at the last two events, we’ve been able to race solidly in the top half of the field,” she said
“It’s satisfying to finish the year with some strong results to reward the sponsors who have believed in me throughout the journey, and we’ll be carrying some strong momentum into season 2019.”
Toyota 86 Series – Round 6 Results Summary
Qualifying – 24th
Race 1 – 20th
Race 2 – 8th
Race 3 – 24th
Overall – 12th