Finishing the tough, four-stage Fuchs Rally of Gisborne in fifth was a satisfying result for Dunedin’s Emma Gilmour.
Her Vantage Windows and Doors Suzuki Swift performed admirably over the nearly two hours of competitive driving in the event, which welcomed the return of classic rally stages including Motu, Whakarau, and Raukaroa to national competition.
“Our Suzuki started strongly finishing the opening stage in second place and ran well all day with no issues aside from some loss of brakes after over-heating them on the last stage,” Emma says.
The final two, short, tarmac stages were cancelled but the gigantic Motu stage at 46.6km made up for it and was one of the longest the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship drivers will tackle this six-round season.
Emma says she was “absolutely exhausted” at the end of it but she and Australian co-driver Anthony McLoughlin relished the challenge of driving the Vantage Suzuki to its limits for 42 minutes on just one stage.
“Now that we are getting some good competition mileage in the Vantage Windows and Doors Suzuki Swift Maxi we can keep fine tuning the set-up to help build our overall speed. The stages in Gisborne had quite slow average speed compared to some of the other events on the calendar, which gives us good information to keep improving the car for the final two rounds,” Emma says.
Auckland’s Ben Hunt won the event over Te Aroha’s Lance Williams and Andrew Hawkeswood, of Auckland.
Emma would like to thank her sponsors Vantage Windows & Doors, Suzuki NZ, Metalman NZ, Rothbury Insurance Brokers, PPG Paint, Castrol, Dunlop, Hella, Vortex Racewear, Interislander, NGK Spark Plugs, Custom Signs, Modena Race Gears, Webdesign and Koba Batteries for supporting the team again.
Emma’s 2015 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship calendar:
Rally of Whangarei, 18-19 April
Rally of Otago, 9-10 May
Canterbury Rally, 31 May
Rally Gisborne, 27 June
Rally Coromandel, 22 August
Rally Wairarapa, 3 October