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New Zealand rally driver, Emma Gilmour, has announced that Glenn Macneall will be partnering her on the 2007 New Zealand Rally Championship.

Macneall has become available to take the position following his decision – announced last night - to quit his world championship co-driving role for Chris Atkinson in the Subaru World Rally Team.

An Australian who has made Dunedin his home since striking up a relationship with Gilmour some years ago, Macneall is due to return to New Zealand tomorrow.

He is not required as a co-driver for this weekend’s Race to the Sky, as the leading contenders drive the hillclimb course solo. He will, however, be working with Gilmour and her Vantage Subaru Team in a management capacity at the Central Otago event.

Gilmour and Macneall will then join forces in the car for the Otago Rally the following weekend, which is Gilmour’s home rally and the opening round of the 2007 national championship.

“I know that leaving the Subaru World Rally Team was not an easy decision for Glenn to make, but of course I am excited by the opportunities that come with the change,” she says.

“Professionally, Glenn has been more influential in my rally driving career than anyone else. But while he has helped me and taught me a huge amount, until now his WRC commitments have prevented him from partnering me in the car, except on an occasional basis.”

Macneall, for his part, says he is looking forward to co-driving for Gilmour for the national championship campaign.

“Emma has already demonstrated she has great natural talent as a driver, and I hope the experience I can bring as co-driver will help lift her performances to the next level,” he says.

“With the likes of former WRC driver Alister McRae from Scotland contesting the Kiwi series this year, the competition is set to be more intense than ever.”

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