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Gilmour in fourth place in the NZRC after South Canterbury Rally

Despite a challenging day contending with a leaking gearbox, Emma Gilmour has held onto her fourth place position in the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC).

After the eight-stage South Canterbury Hydraulics-sponsored Rally South Canterbury on Saturday, she sits on 41 points, only one point behind third-placed Jack Hawkeswood.

Dunedin-based Emma and her Palmerston North co-driver Katrina Renshaw were fired up to build on their sixth place overall at last month’s Otago Rally and they moved up a position to fifth by the end of the final stage around Timaru’s Levels Raceway yesterday.

“It was a tough start to the day as we had an issue with the gearbox which was leaking oil onto the clutch from the opening stage. To begin with we didn’t know what the problem was. It worsened during the next stage and by the third stage we were losing a lot of time,” she says.

The Paddon Rallysport team was unable to fix the leak in the service park as the C3 did not have a spare gearbox, so Emma and Katrina forged through for the next five stages of the rally, and their stage times in the Vantage Windows & Doors WRC2 C3 rally car kept them within the top six.

“Unfortunately, the seal that was leaking cannot be replaced while it’s in the car. Thankfully the team were able to manage the problem so we could continue the day and keep our focus on gaining confidence and mileage together,” Emma says.

“All things considered I am happy with fifth for the day and to be fourth in the national championship. I loved driving the car and the roads were fantastic.”

The national rally championship heads to Southland for round three on 22 June when the Southern Lights Rally appears on the NZRC calendar for the first time in nearly two decades.

A nearly three-month mid-year break will follow before the North Island rounds begin on 14 September with the Daybreaker Rally based out of the Manawatu. The Rally Bay of Plenty returns on 5 October.

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

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