Kiwi Emma Gilmour will make rallying history this year when she becomes the first woman driver to contest the full Asia-Pacific Rally Championship
And she’ll have a new co-driver, Rotorua teenager Tarryn Cox who co-drove for her brother, Sloan, in the 2008 Vantage Aluminium Joinery New Zealand Rally Championship.
Like Gilmour, Cox has set her sights on a professional international rally career.
“I’ll be the first female driver to contest the Asia-Pacific series, and with Tarryn as co-driver we’ll also be the first all-female crew,” says Gilmour. “Both those factors are important for the profile of the team.
“More importantly for me, I was impressed with what I saw of Tarryn’s co-driving last year. We’re already starting to gel as a combination in the car after testing here in New Zealand.”
Gilmour will drive a 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX STi in the Singapore-based Motor Image Racing Team with current Asia-Pacific champion, Cody Crocker, as teammate.
“Stepping up to this level of competition for a full championship is truly a dream come true,” says Gilmour.
“Being able to do so with the team that has won the Asia-Pacific series for the past two years, and as teammate to the driver, who has won the series for the past three years, is going to make a big difference.”
Gilmour says Crocker helped her with testing when she was starting our in New Zealand championship rallying.
“Now his experience of the Asia-Pacific series is going to be of huge value as I prepare for rallying in conditions vastly different to what I am used to in New Zealand.”
Gilmour has just tested the new car which was built with the support of Subaru Tecnica International (STI) in Japan, and Possum Bourne Motorsport in New Zealand. She used the test, in Malaysia, to fine-tune the Impreza’s handling and performance.
“The new car feels awesome, and being able to compare my times against Cody’s at the test has been both helpful and encouraging.”
Gilmour’s Asia-Pacific campaign begins with Rally Queensland in early May and continue with rounds in New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and China.
She will also contest the 2009 NZ championship.