This Saturday’s Mahindra Gold Rush Rally of Coromandel will be a bittersweet event for Dunedin’s Emma Gilmour.
On one hand she holds second in the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) and will be fighting hard to secure the runner-up spot in her Vantage Windows and Doors Suzuki Swift AP4+. The flip-side is that Emma had a high chance of winning the season outright, after her history-making victory at the third NZRC round, the Lone Star Rally of Canterbury, after which, she became locked in a tight title battle with eventual NZRC winner David Holder.
“It was incredibly disappointing for our engine to let go at the Rally of Gisborne last month – ending our event and championship-winning hopes. However, we will put that aside on Saturday and focus on delivering a strong performance in this final NZRC event for 2016,” Emma says.
It has been a year where Emma’s 1600cc Suzuki has showed what it is capable of and with Australian co-driver Anthony McLoughlin on-board, the pair have notched up two podium finishes – which included a second at the International Rally of Whangarei in April.
Emma will compete in the Coromandel event for the second time, after missing the rally in 2014 – when it was first added to the NZRC calendar – due to a date clash with the Global Rallycross Championship she was contesting in the United States.
The 10-stage rally will be based at Whitianga’s Mercury Bay Sports Multi-Sport Park, which will host Rally HQ and the service park. Competition will take place over 135 kilometres of forestry and public roads around the Mercury Bay region. The event will feature gravel roads in the area, some of which were last used for rallying on the 1979 International Motogard Rally of New Zealand.
Emma would like to thank her sponsors Suzuki NZ, Vantage Windows & Doors, Gilmour Motors Suzuki, Koba Batteries, Rothbury Insurance Brokers, PPG Paint, Castrol, Dunlop, Hella, Vortex Racewear, Interislander, NGK Spark Plugs, Custom Signs, Modena Race Gears, E&S Head Systems and Webdesign for supporting the team.