Emma Gilmour heads overseas for McLaren duties after Rally Whangarei

After an International Rally of Whangarei that didn’t go as planned this weekend, Emma Gilmour turns her focus to her McLaren Extreme E duties and heads overseas.

She will attend a McLaren partner event in the United States before continuing onwards to the United Kingdom to test the global motorsport giant’s electric SUV. The revised Extreme E calendar means the Dunedin rally driver now has a double header round in Sardinia, racing from July 6-7 and then again from July 9-10.

“Unfortunately the new Extreme E dates mean that I won’t be able to return to New Zealand to drive my Vantage Windows & Doors Suzuki Swift AP4 at the NZRC’s third round in South Canterbury in mid-June,” Emma says.

The Whangarei-based second round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship was over for her and co-driver Mal Peden before it properly got going, with the pair only achieving clean runs through the two short Pohe Island (1.24km) stages on Friday night.

“We had done some work pre-event on the Suzuki’s engine but frustratingly we had a sensor problem leaving refuel on Saturday morning. When we tried rejoining later in the day, there were other problems from the rebuild that the team weren’t able to rectify,” Emma says.

“We tried to get going again this morning in the hope that we might have improved things but unfortunately it was still not sorted.”

After narrowly missing out on a podium finish at the Otago Rally, where a time penalty dropped her down the ranks before she fought back to fifth, Emma was disappointed to have mechanical problems this weekend. However, she has plenty to look forward to on the international front.

"It's been a long break since our first Extreme E round in Saudi Arabia in February, so I can't wait to be back with my McLaren team again and working towards a great result in Sardinia."

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