Emma Gilmour’s international driving career takes another exhilarating turn this weekend, when she competes in the X Games in Austin, Texas, in the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship (GRC).
She and Australia’s Sarah Burgess will be the first females to ever drive at the X Games in this fast and furious discipline, where they will be taking on some of the world’s most well-known performance drivers, like Ken Block, and Travis Pastrana.
“It is hugely exciting to be competing as one of the first women at the X Games in rallycross and paving the way for others in the future. On a personal level, it is such an amazing opportunity and I feel so fortunate to be driving at this event,” Emma says.
The Dunedin-based rally driver can’t wait to have a second run in her 600hp Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster Turbo rallycross car, which she debuted at the opening round in Barbados last month.
Her team will be hard at work on it when she arrives in Texas this week, as there is a quick turn-around between the cars being shipped in from the previous round and needing to be ready for Friday’s practise sessions.
Emma has not seen the rallycross course in person yet at the X Games’ host venue, the state-of-the-art Circuit of the Americas but the description of it had her smiling.
“The track looks like it has a lot more dirt this time, which will suit us a lot better,” she says.
Racing in front of a potential capacity crowd of 120,000, Emma and the GRC competitors will be hitting two jumps this round – one at around 90kmh and another at about 140kmh.
After her debut in the fiercely competitive GRC last month, Emma is aiming to keep improving and to continue working her way up the steep learning curve.
She left New Zealand on Tuesday night and will have practice, qualifying and heats on Friday, before the final on Saturday (US time).
New Zealand fans can see X-Games coverage on ESPN on Sunday (NZ time) 6am to 10am.