Emma floated the idea of buying a race car with her dad, and he suggested buying an Ford Escort, something easy to handle. Emma reminded her Dad he’d brought her up around muscle cars - and her heart was set on a Mustang.
CAMS: How did it all start, and why the Mustang?
Emma Quigley (EQ): I was introduced to the world of motor sport at a young age through my Dad, Garry. My earliest memories are being at the Calder Park Raceway and Heathcote Dragway.
His ’67 Mustang held the national record for a couple of events in the 90s, and as a kid, Dad was well and truly my hero. Growing up watching him drag race a ‘67 Mustang, then rally the XW GT and XY GTHO Falcons - once I was in a position to buy my own car it had to be classic, and it had to be a V8.
My passion for classic muscle cars has been ingrained from an early age. They’re the sort of car that anywhere you take it, you get a wicked response from people. The older people who remember them new, and the young who are drawn in by the sound, the chrome, and the lines.
CAMS: How long have you and your Dad been competing for?
EQ: Dad had always involved us, his four daughters, at club track days from early on - taking us around on passenger laps and sharing the thrill of the track before we could drive.
I started driving at some track days with car clubs from the time I turned 18, also the first year I got my first CAMS International Rally Navigator’s licence and completed Targa Tasmania with Dad in 2003. We did it in Dad’s 1971 Phase III GTHO falcon, and that for me was the defining moment, knowing that I was hooked on motor sport.
CAMS: What are some of your best results?
EQ: Driving in my own car in my first season of the CAMS Supersprint Championship I placed second in the Radical Modied over 5000cc class, which I was absolutely thrilled with.
It’s a great event that allows race speeds without a bill for repairing ‘race rubs’ from circuit events.
At rally events navigating for Craig Dean, we’ve won the Modern Muscle Car events at Targa Wrest Point, second place at Targa Tasmania, and just recently in the new 2015 Shelby GT Mustang we placed third in the Showroom 2WD drive class at Targa High Country, which was incredibly exciting.
CAMS: Why do you love competing?
EQ: I love the thrill of going fast in a controlled environment. Rally is the ultimate test with no two corners the same, varying conditions and surfaces.
It’s a true challenge at something like Targa Tasmania. The high you feel after finishing an event like that is like nothing else. It’s truly the best (and most addictive) feeling in the world to finish an event of that calibre, let alone end up on the podium!
CAMS: Do you have any goals/aspirations for your competitive career?
EQ: As a self-funded competitor my aspirations are realistic. I’ve dabbled in tarmac rally driving in an Australian Tarmac Rally Championship event, but I think my long-term goal is driving at an event like Targa Tasmania.
If I won the lotto, competing in an international event like La Carrera Panamericana would be my ultimate once-in-a-lifetime experience!
CAMS: Do you have any advice for someone who wants to get involved in motor sport?
EQ: People are often mystified when they discover that I race, and tell me it’s something they’d love to try but "wouldn’t know where to start to get involved."
I recommend anyone who would like to try should find a CAMS Affiliated Club and just go and speak to people who do it. Find out how to volunteer, at a track day or a regularity relay.
There are always jobs to do for keen, passionate people, and getting amongst it will introduce you to the people who can help you get started. We’re mostly just normal people enjoying a fast passion!