Dunedin rally driver Emma Gilmour achieved her aim for a solid result at today’s 135km Mahindra Goldrush Rally Coromandel, finishing ninth overall in the Vantage Windows and Doors Suzuki Swift AP4.
Rally winner Australian Brendan Reeves was only contesting this event as a one-off, which essentially boosts all the Kiwis up a position in the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) fuelled by Gull and driven by Dunlop category. Emma and co-driver Anthony McLoughlin therefore finished the rally as the eighth NZRC team.
“We are happy to get to the finish today in what were some pretty challenging conditions. It was wet and muddy, with intermittent showers making for changeable grip levels. Anthony did a great job navigating our way through what was a rally of many, many corners! Also a big thanks to my service crew – a finish is a nice reward for all the hard work they put into every rally,” Emma says.
Unfortunately from the start of stage one the car’s centre diff was not working properly.
“The car was a handful. We gave it everything on the last of the seven stages and managed to finish third, which was a nice way to finish the event,” Emma says.
Finishing this fourth round of the NZRC will give Emma and Anthony their first points of the season and the confidence to keep pushing hard over the final two rounds in October and November.
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, Uniform NZ, Provident, Interislander, NGK Spark Plugs, Custom Signs, Modena Race Gears, Pure Sports Nutrition and Webdesign for supporting the team.
2017 New Zealand Rally Championship calendar
Round 1: Rally of Otago, Dunedin – 8-9 April
Round 2: International Rally of Whangarei – 28-30 April
Round 3: Canterbury Rally, Christchurch – 4 June
Round 4: Rally of Coromandel – 26 August
Round 5: Rally Waikato, Waitomo – 14 October
Round 6: Rally New Zealand, Tauranga – 25-26 November