Gilmour targeting another strong finish in Gisborne
Emma Gilmour intends to start the second half of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship the way she finished the first half – challenging the leaders in her Vantage Suzuki Swift.
She and Australian co-driver Anthony McLoughlin will be aiming to better the Class 1 podium they achieved at last month’s Lone Star Rally of Canterbury, as they tackle the six, testing FUCHS Rally Gisborne stages on Saturday.
“I’m looking forward to getting back in the Suzuki. We have made more improvements to the set-up since Canterbury and I really enjoy the stages we have in Gisborne,” Emma says.
The Gisborne and Opotiki Districts provide the venue for the day’s competition, with the rally’s stages all used in previous World Rally Championship and Asia Pacific Rally Championship events. Emma has driven over some of them when they were part of the former Rally of Rotorua and remembers how much she enjoyed them.
“Although it’s been nine years since we’ve competed on them, I can’t wait to get back there,” she says.
Special stage two is bound to throw up the most challenges for the 53-car field, if all the legends and the stories are true. The mammoth 46km Motu is tight and twisting from the outset, opens a little in the middle to a ford, then tightens again to the downhill finish.
After another two stages, the day ends with two, just over 2km all-tarmac sprints over the Kaiti hill.
“This rally is sure to test us with the combination of the massive Motu stage and the two sealed stages at the end of the rally, but I’m confident the Vantage Suzuki Swift has got what it takes to finish strongly,” Emma says.
Emma would like to thank her sponsors Vantage Windows & Doors, Suzuki NZ, Metalman NZ, Rothbury Insurance Brokers, PPG Paint, Castrol, Dunlop, Hella, Vortex Racewear, Interislander, NGK Spark Plugs, Custom Signs, Modena Race Gears, Webdesign and Koba Batteries for supporting the team again.
Emma’s 2015 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship calendar:
Rally of Whangarei, 18-19 April
Rally of Otago, 9-10 May
Canterbury Rally, 31 May
Rally Gisborne, 27 June
Rally Coromandel, 22 August
Rally Wairarapa, 3 October