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Twenty-year-old racer mechanic Holly Espray will make her step up to the V8 SuperUte Series next week at Sydney Motorsport Park, becoming the second female racer to join the series in 2023.

Having conducted a full day’s test at the Eastern Creek-located circuit last week, Espray will run the #777 Isuzu D-MAX that was last campaigned by Craig Jenner in April in Perth, and David Casey to sixth outright in the 2022 series.

“Now that I’ve driven one and got my hands dirty working on one, I’m really impressed with the level of engineering, the speed, the fun factor and of course it’s on a great program with Supercars,” said Espray.

“I’ve been looking for what would be a good stepping-stone on from the Toyota 86 Series and it’s been really interesting watching the V8 SuperUtes category grow and I think this fits the bill perfectly. I’m really excited to be on the grid and fingers crossed I’m at the pointy end!”

Espray began her career in karting at the age of seven after having previously ridden BMX and motorbikes. Moving to cars at age 13, the Queenslander raced a Formula Ford at Lakeside before a stint in Hyundai Excels, eventually winning the 2020 Track Attack Australia Championship in Queensland.

2021 saw Espray race a Formula Vee; finishing third overall in her first weekend of racing. That same year she raced in the Toyota Gazoo 86 Series and in 2023 made an appearance in the Scholarship Series before now stepping up to the V8 SuperUte Series at a track she is familiar with.

“My first real race meeting was at Sydney Motorsport Park in a Hyundai Excel. I qualified fourth, moved up to second and was chasing down Russell Ingall, of all people, in Broc Feeney’s Excel! It was so much fun because it was at night!” explained Espray.

“I was a little bit nervous going into the test last week because it’s something totally different to what I’ve driven before but within a couple of laps I felt really comfortable. You don’t notice the size and the weight of the SuperUte as I thought I might, but it definitely has different brake markers to the [Toyota] 86!

“The SuperUte is a little tricky to drive but definitely not hard to drive which made it so much fun. I can improve on little bits everywhere, but the main thing I need to do next is see what it’s like on green tyres,” concluded Espray.

Espray joins Ellexandra Best on the grid as the only two women racing in the V8 SuperUte Series. The entry list and more information about Round 2 at Sydney Motorsport Park next week (July 28-30) will be announced in the coming days.

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