Emma Gilmour had a disappointing and frustrating time in last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay Rally, even though she finished in the top 10.
Gilmour says she still has to work hard to get her driving back to the level it was before her huge crash in the Whangarei Rally in May.
Last Saturday, Gilmour had been closing in on a top-six position when she clipped a rock on the rally’s fifth special stage.
“We hit the rock so hard it wrenched the steering wheel from my hands and damaged the car’s steering,” she said. “As if that wasn’t enough, a flat tyre followed towards the end of the stage.”
The time lost limping through left the Subaru Impreza WRX STi driver 10th in the national championship field.
Her Vantage Team service crew repaired the damaged steering at the next service break, and Gilmour then regained one place over the two remaining stages to finish ninth.
“Even before (hitting the rock) it was a steady rather than spectacular performance on my part,” Gilmour said. “The car was great, but it’s simply taking me longer to get back in the competitive groove than I had anticipated.
“I’m finding it quite frustrating, but all I can do is keep working away at things.
“In part it’s a matter of completing as many competitive kilometres as possible, so if there’s a positive for me out of this weekend it’s that I did just that.”
Gilmour will now focus on this month’s Rally New Zealand. Along with fellow South Islander and current national championship leader Hayden Paddon, she has been awarded a scholarship to contest the Production World Championship division of the August 31-September 2 event.