Meet the woman taking on a male-dominated sport
2016 has been a pretty great year for seeing badass women break glass ceilings and do all the things (if not better) that men can do. One of those women is V8 Australian racing car driver Emily Duggan, one of the few females in motorsport. She’s quickly making a name for herself in the male-dominated industry and is determined not to let anything get in her way of becoming a national championship winner. With her passion and fearlessness, we don’t doubt she will.
We caught up with the Special K ambassador to hear about her mega-inspiring journey and how we can channel her boundless energy.
Have you always wanted to get into car racing?
“I’ve always had a love for cars, but as a child I never had the opportunity to go racing – it wasn’t something I grew up around. It wasn’t until I started working and earning money that I was able to create my own opportunity. I saved up, bought my first race car which allowed me to enter the competitive world of racing, and towed it to the track for my first go on the track.”
What kind of barriers did you have to overcome to get to where you are in your career today?
“The biggest barrier I faced when first starting out was people telling me I couldn’t do it – whether it was because I was a female or because I hadn’t raced as a child like everyone else. These are still barriers I face today. But, from the start I simply chose not to listen. It would have created doubt in my mind of my own abilities and I wouldn’t have even started racing if I chose to listen to what they were saying. To overcome anything you first need to believe in yourself.”
How did you build your confidence in entering this sport?
“Going into motorsport, I knew I would be one of very few girls at the race track. I also knew it would be intimidating from the start and I recognised it would take time to build my confidence. But I was able to do so knowing that this was what I wanted to do. I remember thinking on the day of my first race, ‘just be yourself and kick ass on the race track.’ To this day, things come up that can shake your confidence, but it’s all about perseverance.”
Do you ever get scared while you’re racing?
“To put it simply, no. There have been a few times where I’ve made the wrong choice and came off the track or spun, but as soon as that happened my immediate reaction wasn’t fear. Instead, my mind focused straight away on how I could get back on the track quickly and how to make up the position I just lost. Mindset is so important in a race and that’s why it’s important to be healthy and active as that sets you up for good mental health as well.
What do you do to keep fit?
“I train six days a week on strength and endurance as well as brain training; but it didn’t start off like that. Walking was my first step to becoming more fit and active. I actually started small with a 1km walk which felt easy to accomplish every day, plus it made me feel more energised and positive afterwards. What I use to fuel myself is just as important; starting my day off with foods that nourish my body is key for me, so I often have a bowl of Special K Fruit and Nut with soy milk, or a smoothie.”
What is your ultimate career goal in car racing?
“My ultimate career goal is to win a national championship, and I would love that to be in the Virgin Australian Supercar series. I love going onto the racetrack every day, but I admit, I’m not 100% satisfied with just racing, I want to win, I want to become a championship winner and this is what I’m striving for every day.”