STEPH Munn has taken the challenge up to the best Formula 500 drivers in the country and finished eighth in the Australian titles at Goulburn on the weekend.
The Mount Gambier driver, now based in Victoria, won her first race this season at Geelong’s Avalon Raceway and went on to put in an inspiring weekend of racing to claim the top 10 position.
Munn overcame a badly damaged car after a rollover on Thursday, before repairs were made overnight for Friday’s qualifying.
She then pushed hard all weekend in a field of around 40 entries to qualify out of eighth place in the feature race, after three drivers were tied on the same points, with Munn’s fastest time gaining her the position.
From there it was a matter of a controlled and consistent drive to hold her place at the chequered flag.
“We went up there not having any expectations,” Munn said.
“It was a new track for me and we knew it would be a tough gig.
“We went up to have a bit of fun and see what we could do, not having any goals.
“We exceeded all of our expectations which was awesome.”
Munn said after rolling the car on Thursday she was unsure whether she would make the title at all.
However, once back on track she said she felt confident after some fast times.
She excelled in all heats, moving up from ninth to sixth in the opening run, which came with further issues to overcome.
“Apparently we jumped the start so got put back two positions, which hurt the points overall,” Munn said.
“Then in our second heat we started on pole position and won that.
“To get a heat win at the Australian title was amazing.”
That win showed she was on the pace and she continued on from there.
The third heat saw Munn move up from fifth to second to finish Friday’s racing in a strong position.
“On Saturday we had another heat and started out of fifth again,” Munn said.
“We came home second in that one as well and thought we might be somewhere up in the points.
“When we saw we were in eighth it was unreal.”
From there she simply concentrated on a consistent feature race and held on for an impressive result.
Looking back on a season which has delivered her first win in the category and now a solid result at the Australian titles, Munn said she was pleased.
“I was looking at the results for this season and we have exceeded our expectations,” she said.
“We have been consistently up the front and pretty quick, now being recognised as one of the fast drivers.
“I have been really happy this season as a team.
“My driving has improved incredibly, having been confident with the car and knowing we are quick.
“To come eighth in the Australian title is like a win for us.”
To top the weekend off Munn was joined by her brother and parents for the meeting, which she said was very special.