With nearly three months between the Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia’s season opener and the subsequent round in Winton, Holly Espray has been dedicating her spare time to Excel racing.
Spending the past weekend at Bathurst, Espray raced in the MRF Excel Bathurst Challenge after having successfully competed in the Series X3 Queensland Championship the weekend prior.
Whilst the weekend started out as smooth sailing on Friday, Saturday saw plenty of drama with no points awarded for race two and race three finishing under safety car after only one lap.
Even with the dramatically shortened races, Espray managed to conclude her weekend fifth overall out of a whopping 55 competitors.
“My weekend was very, very good. I don’t think it could have gone any better,” she said.
“Practice and qualifying went really well. The whole first race went really well, there was no damage.
“Everyone was surprised because that can be rare for Excels, but then there was absolute carnage on Saturday.”
Having maintained her initial P9 qualifying position over the first two races, Espray was pleased to move up five positions in the opening lap of race three.
“When the race started, I dropped two places so I was actually 11th,” she said.
“But because of all the opening lap carnage, I ended up moving up from 11th to 6th in one lap just from dodging it all.”
Espray also put on an incredible appearance the weekend prior in the Series X3 Championship in Queensland.
Continually managing to improve on her results across the three races, Espray finished 6th, 5th and 2nd respectively, concluding the weekend in 3rd place.
Espray’s Excel, which she has affectionately nicknamed Nebula, was completed just in time for the consecutive race weekends.
“I only finished building my Excel the day before the Series X3 race meeting,” she said.
“I have been working on Nebula since November last year, it’s been a slow build because I’ve been so busy doing other things.
“Knowing I have a car that hasn’t had any issues so far, especially considering it’s a brand new car that was only finished two weeks ago is probably one of the best things to come out of the weekend.”
Espray now moves her focus back to Toyota 86, with the second round of the TGRA 86 Series at Winton, May 29 – 30.