Gilmour, Atkinson combine for Rally Whangarei
- 11th June 2010, 8:56am
As well as counting towards the New Zealand series, the Whangarei event is a round of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship. That means Gilmour’s regular co-driver, fiancée Glenn Macneall, will be unavailable due to a prior commitment to co-drive for Asia-Pacific contender Gaurav Gill on the rally.
MacNeall’s replacement alongside Gilmour in the Vantage Team Subaru Impreza WRX STi will be former world championship and Asia-Pacific series co-driver Ben Atkinson from Australia.
Atkinson is a top-flight international co-driver, having partnered Cody Crocker to successive Asia-Pacific title wins in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. As Crocker’s co-driver, he was also one of Gilmour’s team mates when she contested last year’s Asia-Pacific series for the Motor Image Subaru Team.
“While he has never co-driven for me on an event before, Ben sat alongside me during testing last season, so we already have a good feel of how we will work together in the car,” says Gilmour. “He also has experience co-driving on many of stages that will feature on the Rally of Whangarei.”
Gilmour will start the Whangarei event as the second-placed driver in the 2010 Kiwi championship after strong runs on both the series opener in Otago, and on Rally New Zealand.
Though Whangarei also counts towards the Asia-Pacific series – on which she finished runner-up in 2009 – Gilmour’s sole focus will on bidding to win the New Zealand championship component of the event. For that reason she did not to seek one of the wildcard Asia-Pacific entries that would have enabled her to score points for that series as well as the Kiwi championship at Whangarei.
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