Drive like a girl with Emily Duggan
Emily’s dream has never been to be the first girl racing driver, just the first over the finish line….
Emily made her racing debut in 2014 as the first female driver in Series X3, since then Emily’s driving career has continued to flourish, competing in the Toyota 86 series and Supercars Super3 series.
Off the track, Emily’s success has been recognised with nominations of Sports Women of The Year and New Talent of The Year in 2019 through women in sports awards and Emily is also a proud ambassador for women in sport and actively encourages school girls to dream big with her work with Dare to be Different, an event program aimed at primary school girls.
In the history of Australian racing, there hasn’t been a female driver to win a Supercar race, we think Emily’s time is just around the corner and we’re excited to introduce her to the Stella Successful Women Series for October.
How long have you been racing? And how did you come to be a driver?
I purchased my first race car in 2014, I towed it to the track and won my second race meeting EVER! I taught myself how to race, how to tow and about all the car mechanics so I could fix any issues with zero budget. Not that I let that get in the way, if I did, I would never have reached the goals I’d set out to achieve. Since 14’ I’ve raced as support for the biggest event in Australian motorsport, Bathurst 100 and my next goal is to compete in the main event (and take the win obvs).
What is your favourite personal race story?
In 2016, my first Enduro win (an enduro race is an inexpensive type of automobile racing that takes place mostly on oval tracks. Enduro takes its name from “Endurance racing” since it consists of hundreds of laps around the oval.) I decided to test myself and drive solo which isn’t usually done as most drivers choose to pair up, but I believed in myself and my skills wholeheartedly, plus the number of hours I put in preparing for the race was INSANE. I wanted this win so badly and nothing was going to stand in my way. The scream I let out when I hit that finish line first is something I’ll never forget, it was electric, supercharged. I was home.
One of our motto’s in ‘Drive like a Girl’. What does that mean to you?
It means to push outside the status quo, use the passion and the drive you have inside and go after your dreams.
What motivates you?
Watching other people achieving their dreams; it’s contagious. When you see people in the same circumstances you’ve been in kicking ass, it motivates you to do the same. I’m a big advocate for women in motorsport, I had no idea until I was in my early 20’s that motorsport wasn’t a gendered sport, if I had seen women racing when I was a kid I would have started right then and there!
Do you think being a female has made your career harder or easier? Why?
I think in some ways it’s made a few things easier; a lot of people can underestimate you and if you use that to your advantage, then it’s a win. I believe it’s all to do with mindset; being a male doesn’t make you a better driver or a winner. Hard work, dedication and an undying thirst to win do.
What sort of advice do you have for someone who wants to go into a male-dominated career such as racing?
Don’t think about gender, just know exactly what you bring to the table. The past doesn’t define the future, create history by going after what you want and fight for what you want every damn day.
You race cars for a living, so what car do you drive?
I recently bought a Commodore VE that wasn’t running. I got under the hood, repaired it, and it passed registration, so they’re my wheels for now. I’ve always purchased second-hand cars that I could test my mechanical skills on, knock on wood I haven’t broken down yet!
How do you set and achieve your goals?
I start with the big ones, then work backwards from there. For me it’s important to have a goal planned then break it down into smaller goals which means you can celebrate more often, keep motivated, and let’s be honest celebrating is half the fun.
What is it about Stella that excites you?
2020 has been the year for change, and when Stella launched in July, I was excited to see women shaking up the usual male-dominated industry of car insurance. Stella and I stand for the same values, to see women thrive. I’m so excited to be a part of their journey!
Follow Emily’s journey here @emilyduggan1
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