Having secured third place in the Vantage NZ Rally Championship, Emma Gilmour is looking to challenge for a second in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship at this weekend's Rally Indonesia
The Indonesian event is the penultimate round of the 2009 APRC, in which Gilmour is already placed third, just two points behind former champion Katsuhiko Taguchi, and 29 points behind Motor Image Racing Team Subaru mate and defending champion Cody Crocker.
The trio are far clear of the other series contestants - all Gilmour needs to do is finish at the Indonesian event to put her third placing in the series beyond doubt. However, having narrowed the gap to Taguchi by finishing runner-up to Crocker in the last APRC round in Malaysia, Gilmour is setting her sights on moving up to second in the series in Indonesia.
“It’s a big goal given that this will be my first time competing in Indonesia, but I feel more confident heading into this event than I did before Rally Malaysia,” says Gilmour.
“That second placing in Malaysia was my best-ever result in international rallying, and I now have a good feel for South East Asian conditions, including both the extremely draining humid heat, and roads that can become extraordinarily slippery after rain.
“It is also great to be heading for Indonesia fresh from a good fast run in the final round of the New Zealand series.”
Last and not least, this will be Gilmour’s second APRC event in succession with English co-driver Claire Mole. Mole joined the Motor Image team at short notice for Rally Malaysia after Gilmour’s regular APRC co-driver Rhianon Smyth was injured competing in her native Australia.
“As you would expect, Claire and I spent the first part of the Malaysian event building up confidence in each other. Now we are nicely dialled in as a combination, which will add an extra dimension of confidence from the very start in Indonesia.”
Rally Indonesia, which is also the second round of the Indonesian championship, is based in the historic town of Makassar on the island of Sulawesi. After a ceremonial start on Friday night, competitors will face a total of 14 special stages over Saturday and Sunday.
As is the case with Rally Malaysia, the majority of stages are held on clay-based roads that run through sugar cane plantations. While the roads – which have an underlying clay base will become treacherous if it rains, the rally is being held during the region’s dry-season.