T86RS racer earns international endurance seat

  • Emily Duggan set for second start in Philippine Endurance Challenge

On the back of strong showings and continued improvement in her rookie Toyota 86 Series season, Emily Duggan has scored a drive in the Philippine Endurance Challenge to be held at Clark International Speedway this weekend.

Duggan, coming off the back of a season-best eighth-place race finish in the final round of the T86RS at Newcastle on the weekend, will drive a Honda Civic for the SmartFuels2Race team in the eight-hour marathon, where she will be joined by fellow T86RS competitor Trent Grubel.

It will be Duggan’s second start in the event – in 2017, she qualified on pole position and was running strongly in the race before retiring with mechanical problems.

“The Philippine event was a lot of fun last year, even though the race itself didn’t go to plan,” Duggan said.

“We definitely have some unfinished business, and I thank Bob and the SmartFuels2Race team for giving me another opportunity.”

The Philippine Endurance Challenge – “8 Oras ng Pilipinas” – is open to production-based vehicles. This year’s event has attracted a field of 34 cars, and Duggan and Grubel will compete in the RP (outright) class – their Civic is equipped with a number of modifications including racing suspension, a modified engine and GT Radial tyres.

After competing in sprint races all season, Duggan says the long-distance race will require a different mindset.

“In the Toyota 86 Series, the races are quite short, so qualifying and track position are very important,” Duggan said.

“In an endurance race like this weekend’s 8 Hour, outright speed over a single lap is not as critical, but consistency over a long stint will be essential – this will bring drivers’ physical fitness into play.

“There are also other factors such as traffic management, pit stops and working with the team to find a setup that suits both drivers.”

Practice and qualifying for the Philippine Endurance Challenge will be held on Saturday 1 December, followed by the race on Sunday 2 December.