Emma Gilmour is delighted to have achieved her best overall rally result of the year on the Targa New Zealand tarmac rally.
The 26-year old Dunedin driver confirmed a fine third placing on the event with a no-risks run over the final day. Her conservative approach on both the penultimate and final day of the week-long rally was in marked contrast to her blazing performance early in event, when she was vying for the lead with eventual winner Joe McAndrew.
"It was great to battle with Joe over the first couple of days, and of course to lead the Targa after the first day," said Gilmour.
She added that while losing a couple of minutes off the road was the prompt to ease up and secure third, even if that hadn't have happened it would have been hard work to keep up on the faster stages that were a feature of latter part of the event. This is because the Impreza she had on lone from Subaru Australia was at its best on tighter stages.
"Having a purpose-built tarmac rally car for the event was just fantastic, and the guys from Possum Bourne Motorsport did a fabulous job preparing and running it," she said. "As well as being delighted to achieve my best result of the year, and my best-ever on the Targa, I am also relieved to be returning the Impreza to Subaru Australia in one piece!"
Gilmour also paid tribute to the efforts of the Vantage Aluminium Joinery employees who took it in turns to act as her co-driver for the Targa event.
"It is all very well inviting guest co-drivers along when all you are worried about is achieving a respectable result, but when you end up battling for the lead, and then a podium position, the pressure does go on," she said "Each of the guys responded magnificently, and Darryl Thompson showed real commitment by returning and doing a fine job for a second day after suffering from car sickness on the first."
Now that the Targa is over, Gilmour's attention switches to the 17-19 November Rally New Zealand. She will contest the event, which is the penultimate round of the world championship, in her regular Vantage Team Subaru Impreza WRX gravel rally car.