Emma Gilmour was robbed of a good placing in Wairarapa Rally by a mystery steering ailment in her Vantage Aluminium Joinery Subaru Impreza WRX STi but was happy that she's on the front-running pace.
A steering problem that wouldn’t go away blunted Emma Gilmour’s challenge in last weekend’s Wairarapa Rally, Round 1 of the Vantage Aluminium Joinery 2008 New Zealand Rally Championship.
Gilmour noticed the problem as she cruised to the opening special stage on Saturday, and it continued to occur intermittently through the first three stages.
However, Gilmour was running seventh on SS4 when the steering locked up completely as she drove into a fourth-gear corner.
“I found myself in the awful situation of being along for the ride as the car left the road out of my control,” she said.
“A suspension ball joint was broken in the ensuing impact, so that was day one of our rally over.”
With a new steering rack fitted for heat two on Sunday, Gilmour set top-five times on two of the first three stages.
She missed out on another top time on the other stage only because she slowed after being blinded by the dust of a car ahead. To her dismay, the steering problem returned, with the car’s power steering eventually failing completely. Gilmour limped on to finish eighth.
“When you’re trying to drive as fast as you can there’s not much that saps your confidence more than a problem with the steering,” she said.
“I was absolutely gutted on Saturday, especially having started the rally feeling so positive after our pre-season testing.
“Sunday was marginally better, and while it was a relief to score some points, the more important thing was that I showed that when all is well with the car I’m on the front-running pace.
“Jeff Judd also slotted in brilliantly as co-driver, so all of the ingredients are there for better times ahead.”