Dunedin-based rally driver Emma Gilmour experienced the highs and the lows of rallying in Round 4 of the Parker Enzed Championship, Rally Hawke's Bay.
One of the most satisfying days of her rallying career was followed by one of the most frustrating.
Gilmour says she's partly satisfied and partly frustrated by a final result of fifth overall, a result which has left her placed fourth in the series.
“I set myself the goal of closing the performance gap on championship pacesetters Richard Mason and
Chris West (who each won a heat in Hawke’s Bay) this weekend, and that's exactly what I did on Saturday’s opening heat,” said Gilmour, who set a string of top-three special stage times and finished fourth overall on Leg 1.
“After that awesome run, I was really looking forward to Sunday, but in the end it was one of my most difficult days of rallying.
“There was thick gravel on the first few stages which didn’t help, but the major problem was with the car itself. We had five spins on the first five stages, and eventually realised it was a problem with the car’s transmission, not with me.”
The crew changed the gearbox in 20 minutes before the final test. However, that came too late to influence her Heat 2 result. Though cars ran at speed through the final stage, organisers didn't time it because of fears that some parts of the road were so flooded that cars wouldn't get through.
But it was important to give the car a run, Gilmour said. "With me about to head away to Europe (to drive a front-wheel drive Ford Fiesta in the German and Finnish World Championship rallies), it was important to have things sorted out for the next national round (in Wairarapa) at the end of August.”