Welcome to the oficial site of Emma Gilmour - NZ Rally car driver
BLOG - Friday 18th April 2014
Happy Easter Everyone!! I hope everyone is having a nice time with their friends and family and eating lots of chocolate. :-)
I am having a very quiet Easter catching up on everything and getting organised before Otago Rally and my very busy GRC season kicks off.
Many people are surprised by how happy I am with my weekend last weekend Rally in Whangarei. On the time sheets it certainly doesn't look impressive but I know that we took away a lot of positives from the Weekend. MMMMMS the mighty Suzuki Swift Maxi performed really well and aside from some unfortunate incidents with boost hoses, broken gear stick and a frustrated driver in dust giving us two flat tyres we had some top 3 stage times and won several splits.
There are definitely some areas for us to still work on but considering the limited off season testing and mileage we have done the car performed really well. We have some changes lined up for the next event and I can't wait to get out there again in 3 weeks time.
It was great working with Ben again and I was so impressed with his super cool attitude when things weren't going as planned during the event. It's nice having a calming influence inside the car when I'm starting to get frustrated.
We had some excellent media coverage before and after the event and we received lots of positive feedback from people out on the stages.
I can't wait for my home event. With over 50% of brand new stages it is going to make it a real challenge.
BLOG - Sunday 30th March 2014
Wow – what a week! I am so excited and relieved to finally be able to talk about my Global Rally Cross drive with Rhys Millen racing in America. It has been a long couple of months sitting on the most exciting news to happen in my racing career and not being able to share it with anyone.
When Rhys called me late in December I really couldn’t believe what I was hearing – it was the best early Christmas present I could have received – my dream of wanting to race in America becoming a reality.
I shared the exciting news with my close friends and family, and also my group of long term loyal sponsors as the opportunity would never have been possible without their support throughout my career.
It was reassuring to have all of my sponsors ongoing support for our NZ Championship campaign and makes me even more excited about the season ahead.
Likewise with the business I now own outright in Dunedin - Gilmour Suzuki. It is reassuring to have a good team around me within the business to ensure that things will continue to run smoothly when I am travelling back and forth from America.
No doubt my stress levels could run a little high this year when I am trying to juggle everything but I am truly excited about the year ahead and can't wait to keep everyone updated back home.
Its only two weeks until Rally Whangarei now and it looks like this years Championship is going to be a good one with strong entries. I'm looking forward to catching up with Ben and doing our Shakedown together pre Whangarei and then checking out the new stages on recce north of Whangarei.
So along with a great team on the car I also rely on a great team behind the scenes. Along with my sponsors I have also been lucky enough to have the services of David Thomson doing my press releases for the last ten years.
David has done a great job of writing press releases before and after every event for me since I very first started, which has been a great help in raising my profile throughout the NZ Media.
David is a very busy family man – juggling a very busy full time job at the University, motoring journalist / editor for the Otago Daily Times, and busy parent with Margaret, supporting their son Alex who is very busy with Surf Life Saving and soccer. I'm so thankful for him being able to juggle my media this long!
Due to how busy David is this year I will have a new Media Manager – Cat Pattison from Wanaka. I’m really looking forward to working with Cat and continuing to raise our profile here in NZ. To add yourself to our media list please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Still talking about my testing…. Part of what it made so stress free and enjoyable was the great job that Lindsay Tressler had done in preparing the car for the weekend.
Motorsport is a huge team sport. Yes, the driver will make the biggest difference on whether you are near the front or near the rear of the field. But if you don’t have a good team around you that enables you to have a great car it is almost impossible to show your true potential as a driver.
When I first started driving I thought that sheer talent would get you first place – how wrong was I?!! At the top level of our sport – everyone is very talented and skilled. The difference in that last bit of speed is generally in the driver and teams ability to get the most out of the car and the cars setup.
Along with Lindsay’s help in making the test a success was the input from Lane Heenan from Racetorque in Perth. Lane has been a big influence on my driving in the last 3 years as he has helped with engineering the last Subaru (which is still run successfully in the hands of Ben Hunt) and this Suzuki.
Having an engineer that believes in the feedback I give has made such a big difference in my driving. Often I used to drive around a problem with a cars setup thinking that the problem was me – rather than looking at changing something on the car that would fix the problem.
Lane sat with me in the Suzuki at the test which was the first time that we had tested together with him as the codriver. I couldn’t believe how much this sped up the testing process as we would discuss after each run what I felt and he generally always agreed so we kept making changes without having to do endless amount of runs.
Naturally we will find out on the first stage at Whangarei how good our testing was – but regardless of the outcome – I know I’m going to really enjoy driving the Swift Maxi 1600 to the limit this season! J
It can be dangerous to get too confident after a pre-season test because every team is always making improvements over the off-season. You should never think that you’ve made massive gains because realistically – its possible that so has everyone else!
The thing that I was most happy about after our test was that I really enjoyed myself. We had a stress free weekend with no major issues and the car was really fun to drive. I wish I could drive it every weekend!!
This last week we also announced our plans for the season and the news that Ben Atkinson from Australia is going to be my codriver. I'm really looking forward to working with Ben again as we have worked really well together in the past.
Here is a link to our press release HERE