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Glenn Macneall says that his decision to resign from his position with the Subaru World Rally Team was like “a weight has been lifted off my shoulders”.

Macneall, who has co-driven for Chris Atkinson since the end of the 2004 season, decided to quit his World Championship job after an accident which ended his and Atkinson’s Rally of Portugal.

“I sat on the side of the road for three hours after the crash and after talking to my girlfriend, Emma Gilmour, on the phone, I decided that I’d had enough and would give up my position,” Macneall said at the Otago Rally last weekend.

“I want to co-drive for someone I can really work with and things didn’t seem to be working as they should, we were making mistakes and that was costing us,” he added.

“I am really happy with my decision, and am looking forward to contesting the New Zealand championship with Emma more than anything I have done in motorsport for the last couple of years.”

“I would also like to wish Chris well. I hope that the change will do him good and make him examine all areas of his driving. He is an amazing talent, super quick in the fast stuff, probably quicker than anyone in the WRC, but there are some other areas that need to be worked on,” Macneall added.

Macneall said that he would consider another ride in the WRC, however stated that it would need to be for the right reasons, and with the right driver.

“I enjoy living life in this part of the world and whilst it is great to travel to new places and do all of the WRC rallies, it is also sometimes nice to be at home. Sixteen events is a lot of traveling and if I was to do that again it would need to be with the right person.

Macneall believes that Gilmour has the ability to go a long way in the sport, and while he doesn’t believe that the WRC is in her sights right at the moment due to the huge sums of money required to break into the top level, he does believe that an ARC or other international programs could be on the cards in the near future.

“Emma is a huge talent and has managed to achieve a lot in the space of four short years since she first began driving. The fact that she is a female certainly helps attract media attention, but the fact she can more than hold her own as a driver at the top level means that she has a real following in the general media - something that can also help promote the sport to a wider audience.”

In the meantime, the pair are rapt with their second placing at the opening round of the New Zealand Rally Championship at Otago, and are now looking forward to round two, the Rally of Whangerai, which is also a round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship.

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