The Veloce Racing team completed their lineup for the inaugural Extreme E season with the signing of Emma Gilmour as a reserve driver on the all-electric off-road SUV series.
The New Zealander will be alongside the starting runners Jamie Chadwick and Stéphane Sarrazin, and men’s reserve Lance Woolridge, Extreme E reported on Instagram.
Gilmour joins Veloce with off-road experience and an impressive resume, including seasons in rally, rallycross and cross-country competition.
On the international stage, after winning a scholarship to contest the pan-European Ford Fiesta Sporting Trophy (FFST) of a single brand in 2006, she dominated the legendary Finnish speed test “Ouninpohja” to achieve a stage victory in the support series of the FIA World Rally Championship and participated in other WRC events in Germany and the UK.
The following year, Gilmour secured a factory drive with Subaru Rally Team Japan for the WRC Rally Japan, before claiming second place in the 2009 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, making history as the first woman to finish in the top three overall.
From 2010 to 2012, the driver finished second in the New Zealand Rally Championship three times in a row, collecting the New Zealand Media Personality of the Year award.
Gilmour was later crowned the winner of the prestigious FIA Women in Motorsport and the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation Cross Country Selection in 2015, defeating two current Extreme E riders with the accolade and accompanying award at the Sealine Cross Country Rally 2016, before going to similarly tackle the grueling 500km Portugal Baja event.
She has spent the last few seasons in his home country with more success. In June 2016, she became the first, and to date, the only woman to win a New Zealand Rally Championship event with a dominant performance at the Canterbury Rally, thus joining a handful of women across the world who have triumphed in national tournaments.
Gilmour expressed her satisfaction at entering the Extreme E: “I’m so happy to be joining Veloce Racing for the first season of Extreme E! This series is so innovative and exciting, with its focus on gender equality and sustainability and an incredible environmental ethos. It just feels like something really positive to be a part of.
“I’m also thrilled to be working with such a fantastic team of drivers and engineers – they all have so much experience and talent from so many different areas of the motorsport world. It is going to be great to share ideas with everyone and we can all put our own spin on the work we do.
On the other hand, Ian Davies, Team Manager, Veloce Racing, added: “I’ve known Emma for some time, and one of the things that impresses me most about her is that she is one of the few women to have gone head-to-head with the men at the X Games. She was the only female in the semi-finals and held her own against some really big names like Ken Block, Nelson Piquet Jnr and Scott Speed.”
The first round of the Extreme E 2021 campaign, the Desert X Prix in AlUla, Saudi Arabia, will take place from April 3-4.
Written by I Jhonattan González