Gilmour relishing return to full domestic season

Dunedin rally driver Emma Gilmour (left) will be joined by Palmerston North co-driver Katrina...
Dunedin rally driver Emma Gilmour (left) will be joined by Palmerston North co-driver Katrina Renshaw for the New Zealand Rally Championship. PHOTO: TREV HILL
Emma Gilmour is ready to go full tilt at the national rally title.

After several seasons interrupted by international commitments, Dunedin driver Gilmour will contest the full six-round New Zealand Rally Championship.

Having made the decision to step away from the Extreme E series, in which she drove for McLaren, she is looking forward to enjoying her first complete domestic rally season since 2018.

"I am thrilled to be getting back out on the amazing New Zealand rally roads again," Gilmour said.

"After three years travelling the world driving in Extreme E events, and Covid interrupting the 2020 season, it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to look forward to a start-to-finish New Zealand championship."

Gilmour will drive her WRC2 C3 rally car with an exciting addition.

Sitting next to her this season will be new co-driver Katrina Renshaw, of Palmerston North.

"I’m looking forward to working with Katrina over the NZRC rounds.

"She’s an up-and-coming co-driver, who has done really well over the past few seasons with different drivers, so it will be exciting to see what we can achieve together."

The pair had their first competitive outing at the weekend in the Eastern Southland Car Club’s Popotunoa Rallysprint, finishing in a close second place.

"It was so good to be back in the car and it was a real pleasure working with Katrina. I think we’ll have a lot of fun competing together."

The pair first met in 2019 at the Motorsport New Zealand Elite Academy in Dunedin.

Renshaw has been co-driving since 2018 and stepped up to navigating for R5/Rally2 (NZRC category 1) drivers from 2020.

Gilmour will again entrust the car’s preparation to Paddon Rallysport.

"It was a great step for me to engage Hayden Paddon’s team to run my C3 out of its Cromwell base last year.

"They are a very professional team and Hayden’s experience is a huge help."

The 2024 New Zealand Rally Championship begins with Gilmour’s hometown event, the traditional season-opening Otago Rally on April 13-14.

Rally South Canterbury follows, a month earlier than usual, on May.

The Southern Lights Rally will take place in Southland on June 22 before a nearly three-month mid-year break.

The North Island rounds begin on September 14 with the Daybreaker Rally, based out of the Manawatū, while Rally Bay of Plenty returns on October 5.

The championship will finish with the International Rally of Whangarei on November 8-10.