Hyundai Hires First Female Driver in Global Rallycross Series
New Zealand Native Emma Gilmour Joins Hyundai Rallycross Team
The Global Rallycross Championship starts up for the first of its 10 race series on May 17th at the Top Gear Festival in Barbados, and Hyundai Rallycross/Rhys Millen Racing team is bringing some fresh and unique talent to the sport. An enhanced RMR Veloster Turbo that generates over 600 peak horsepower and the first female GRC racer on record.
New Zealand native, Emma Gilmour, has never set foot in America before this week, but is no stranger to rally sports. In fact, she's considered a veteran racer in New Zealand, winning second overall in the New Zealand Rally Championship, PWRC Rally and Asia-Pacific Rally Championships in the past three years.
In a recent exclusive Autobytel interview, Gilmour told us she's rightfully excited about the opportunity that racing in the American GRC brings to her career. Moving from a sport that was exclusively "in the field," Gilmour's shift to the big arena brings with it a huge enthusiast audience and plenty of media coverage at major spectator events that include Top Gear Festival, X-Games and SEMA.
And she's not without some nerves facing the new series. "It's a new challenge because it's in a smaller area, everyone's going to be watching, so it sort of comes with a bit of a new pressure, but it's also very exciting because it kind of catches whole cool part about stage rallying with the cars sliding sideways and the excitement. But it's bringing it to the people, so that makes it really accessible," she said.
Gilmour's competition includes racer-boy legends like her own team captain, Rhys Millen, Travis Pastrana, Tanner Foust and Scott Speed, just to name a few. She does have one of the hottest cars in the series with the Hyundai RMR Veloster Rallycross Turbo, which, with Rhys Millen at the wheel, set an overall world record in 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Millen is confident in his recommendation of Gilmour for a teammate. "I'm especially proud to have Emma as a teammate; with many top rally drivers hailing from New Zealand, her consistent top performance is sure to impress at every stage of the series." Hyundai's Vice President of Marketing, seconds that opinion. "We're proud to team up with two drivers known for their precision and consistency, and we are especially excited to give Emma the opportunity to be the first female driver in Global Rallycross."
Emma claims the car is more than capable, and further, is the fastest car she's ever driven. The race-ready Veloster generates more than 600 peak horsepower from its four-cylinder turbocharged powerplant and has received an upsized turbocharger, new struts and roll control and XTRAC© center differential, handbrake hydraulic coupler and handbrake lever. Also, new fascia and rear wing design makes for a visually aggressive look.