A third place on the season’s podium is within Emma Gilmour’s sights at this Saturday’s final round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship – the Hyundai NZ Raglan Rally of the Coast.
She and co-driver Anthony McLoughlin will be doing their best to maximise their points in the Vantage Windows and Doors Suzuki Swift AP4 over the approximately 177km of special stages.
They have 76 points in the bank following the fifth round and will be fighting for the last spot on the podium with Josh Marston, Nathan Quinn and Matt Summerfield, all of whom are within nine points of each other. With a maximum of 25 points on offer for the day, plus a bonus 5 points for the power stage, every stage time is going to affect the overall standings.
Hayden Paddon, who is competing this weekend, had already wrapped up the championship at the penultimate round in August and sits on 147 points, while Ben Hunt’s 107 points’ haul has set him in good stead for second place.
“We want to finish on a high and will be giving it everything to bring home the third-place trophy for the season. We have made a few changes and tweaks to the Suzuki since the last round to enhance our performance on Saturday,” Emma says.
The one-day rally will have a one-pass recce and will be run over four, iconic stages, which are repeated twice. They are all in the Raglan area and include the well-known and loved stages Te Akau South and Whaanga Coast.
“The roads are amazing up around Raglan. The Te Akau stages would have to be among my all-time favourites, from when they were part of Rally New Zealand,” Emma says.
The official event start will be held at Wainui Street, Raglan, between 5pm and 6pm on Friday night. The cars will go over the ramp and head into parc ferme at the Raglan Airfield overnight.
The action starts on Saturday at 7.30am from the airfield and the central service park will be based there for the event. The first car is due to finish at the Raglan Club, in Bow Street, from 5.48pm.
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.