A podium finish is at the forefront of Emma Gilmour’s goals for the fifth round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship at the Coromandel Peninsula this weekend.
The Dunedin rally driver has come tantalisingly close, with two fourth places to her name this season and a last-stage puncture robbing her of a podium at the Otago-based opening round.
“We have made some improvements to our Vantage Windows and Doors Suzuki Swift AP4 since the last round in Canterbury and we will be hoping for a bit more speed out of our 1600cc engine. We are aiming for a podium at Coromandel and we believe it is an achievable target,” Emma says.
The one-day Coromandel 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 114 kilometres of special stages on forestry and public roads around the Thames and Coromandel districts. The event will feature some gravel roads, which were last used for rallying on the 1979 International Motogard Rally of NZ.
“I enjoy the Coromandel roads and it will be great to have a two-pass recce over the stages beforehand as it helps with fine-tuning our pace notes,” Emma says, of the process that she and co-driver Anthony McLoughlin go through before each rally.
The first car starts from the Mercury Bay Multi-Sports Park at 7am on Saturday. The first car will finish around 4.47pm at Blacksmiths Lane.
Emma would like to thank her sponsors Suzuki NZ, Vantage Windows and Doors, Gilmour Motors Suzuki, Koba Batteries, Rothbury Insurance Brokers, PPG Paint, Castrol, Hella, Uniform NZ, Provident, Interislander, NGK Spark Plugs, Custom Signs, Modena Race Gears, Pure Sports Nutrition and Webdesign for supporting the team.