A sterling, spirited drive from Emma Gilmour has seen her and co-driver Anthony McLoughlin fight hard for second place at the International Rally of Whangarei in their Vantage Windows and Doors Suzuki Swift Maxi.
The Dunedin rally driver had hot pace on Leg One finishing second after the seven-stage opening day – and two special stages on Friday night – to Mt Manganui’s David Holder. By the end of Leg Two Emma had held onto second overall behind Holder and co-driver Jason Farmer.
“I’m so rapt to have had such a strong, consistent run and to be able to show the speed the Vantage Windows and Doors Suzuki is capable of. We had no mechanical issues and despite a small scare on the penultimate stage, we bought the car home safe and sound,” Emma says.
She was one of the fortunate few, as out of the 40-car Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) field, only 13 drivers finished the tough, two-day event.
“Whangarei is a really hard rally. The roads are challenging and the Saturday in particular is long with seven stages over some tight, twisty terrain,” Emma says.
Her previous podium was a third place at the 2015 NZRC’s final round – Rally Wairarapa. This year she sits fifth overall in the 4WD NZRC championship after two rounds.
“We are definitely heading in the right direction and I look forward to stepping onto the top step of the podium soon,” she says.
Emma thanked her sponsors for their support and her team for their efforts in continuing to maintain and develop the Suzuki into a rally-winning car.
“Congratulations to David and Jason on their first win. We look forward to giving them a run for their money again at the third NZRC round in Canterbury next month,” Emma adds.
Emma would like to thank her sponsors Suzuki NZ, Vantage Windows & Doors, Gilmour Motors, 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.