After spending many years racing excels, 2021 saw Holly Espray looking to progress her racing career by making the switch to the Toyota 86 category.

How did you find your first season in Toyota 86? Was the competition harder than you expected?

HE: As Toyota 86 is a national category, the competition levels were pretty much what I was expecting. There are a lot of drivers and various levels of experience but I went into this category just hoping to learn as much as I could. 

What was the highlight of your season?

HE: The highlight of my season was probably the last round at Bathurst, probably beating Steve Richards in that final race after a great battle. That was definitely the highlight of the whole year. 

Where did you have the most success and why do you think that was?

HE: I had the most success at the last Bathurst round. I feel like that was my most successful part of the year. I didn’t have much damage, I got through the weekend with a much better result than I was expecting and overall it just went well. 

What was the most difficult moment of the season?

HE: The most difficult part of this season was getting taken out in the first race at Townsville. There was the repair bill and also the time it took for the repair. I still do a lot of the repairs myself so we tried to fix it up as best we could at the track but because it was still bent, I couldn’t really get a lot out of the car across the remainder of the weekend. 

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If you could go back to any moment what would it be and why?

HE: I’d probably redo the first race at Sydney because after looking back at the in-car footage, I see what I could have done better. There were a couple of passing opportunities that I can see I missed.

We somewhat got to do that this year, racing at Bathurst twice. How did you find you progressed from the season opener compared to the final event?

HE: I noticed a lot of progression from the first round at Bathurst to the most recent round. My rear wheel drive experience was much higher and I was definitely a lot more confident in the car and with my driving. I also felt like I knew more about the car as well, I knew what it was doing and how I could change it. Even little things, like in the first round I was braking too hard and not getting enough speed through corners but the second time I was there I didn’t have those issues.

What are your plans moving forward for next season?

HE: I really want to race Super3 next year. I think it’s the right time for me to step up.I have driven a Super3 car around Winton, that was pretty fun and I think that’s the next step for me.