Rally Coromandel a first for Gilmour

After a decade in the driver’s seat, there are not many rallies in New Zealand that Dunedin’s Emma Gilmour hasn’t done but this Saturday’s Mahindra Gold Rush Rally Coromandel will be one of them.

“I am really looking forward to doing the Coromandel Rally for the first time. It’s a direct repeat of last year’s stages so I’ll be focusing on doing a good job in recce to ensure we can battle with the front runners of the championship,” Emma says.

The penultimate round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC), the Whitianga-based Rally Coromandel, will see the biggest NZRC field assembled in more than 10 years, with 36 championship cars due to cross the start ramp.

Back in June, finishing the tough, four-stage Fuchs Rally of Gisborne fifth in her Vantage Windows and Doors Suzuki Swift was a satisfying result for Emma and Australian co-driver Anthony McLoughlin.

“It’s been good having almost a two-month break to give us a chance to do a bit more development between events. The last rally in Gisborne highlighted that we needed improvement in the slower speed stages. Coromandel looks like they will be similar roads so we can check to see progress is being made,” Emma says.

She will start eighth on the road, which should allow her rivals to sweep away any loose gravel, giving her and the Suzuki a clean attacking line.

The record field will tackle nine special stages surrounding the Whitianga service park, totalling 132km of competitive driving and including the infamous Tapu-Coroglen and 309 Roads.

Benjamin Carrell is a freelance motorsport writer and currently edits talkmotorsport.co.nz. He writes for a number of Kiwi drivers and motorsport clubs. That's when he's not working in his horticultural day-job or training for the next road or mtb cycle race!


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