Emma Gilmour will have the support of more than 100 Dunedin businesses when she contests this weekend’s Hawkes Bay Rally.

The businesses, ranging from car yards to restaurants, jumped to Gilmour’s assistance after her dramatic crash at Rally Whangarei, donating more than $30,000 towards the cost of her new Subaru Impreza.

The fund-raising was started without Gilmour's knowledge, and she says she still feels quite humbled when she thinks back to the day last month when she was presented with a card reading, "To Emma and the Team: some local support and best wishes for your rallying career."  It was accompanied by dozens of cheques and cash.

"When you have to start from scratch with a new car after a major crash, and pick yourself up from an injury, your own confidence inevitably takes a knock," says Gilmour.

"As well as helping with the costs, the fact that so many people in my home community have dug deep shows they believe I can get out there and challenge for a top result again.

"Their belief has helped mine, and winning one of the two national scholarships for Rally New Zealand later in the month, has also meant a lot for the same reason."

Gilmour is confident she will be challenging for stage wins and a top result in the Hawkes Bay Rally, round four of the NZ Rally Championship, despite it being a one-day event, rather than the usual two-day format.

"With just seven stages totalling 166km, this not an event where you can afford to ease yourself on to the pace," she said. "It's a case of going hard from the start if you want to end the day with a strong result.”

"After our excellent 150km test session a couple of weekends back, I know both car and driver are properly sorted, and am really excited about facing the challenge of serious competition once again."

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