New Zealand rallycross driver a happy Gilmour

Last updated 05:00 26/03/2014
Emma Gilmour
KIWI FIRST: Emma Gilmour is to join Rhys Millen Racing as the first female driver in the Global Rallycross Championship series.

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New Zealand's Emma Gilmour is to join Rhys Millen Racing as the first female driver in the Global Rallycross Championship series.

Gilmour will compete in a new, two-car Hyundai team with world champion driver Millen over 10 Global Rallycross Championship (GRC) rounds in the United States this year.

Not only will Gilmour be the first female to rip up the dirt and tarmac-based circuits throughout North America in the GRC, but the Dunedin-based driver will also be one of the first women to race in the the X-Games, in June.

For Gilmour, it is the pinnacle high of her already successful driving career.

"It really is a dream come true. Going to America to race in a professional series with a professional team like Rhys Millen Racing is hard to believe. I have to keep pinching myself to remind myself it isn't a dream," she said.

Gilmour will be driving a highly tuned, fully race-prepared RMR Hyundai Veloster Turbo rallycross car. Its engine generates more than 600 peak horsepower (440kW) from its four-cylinder turbocharged and intercooled engine.

The GRC layout at each venue features a series of tight turns and a large jump where the cars become airborne, with most of the circuit visible to fans for the duration of each heat.

Gilmour's 2014 GRC season will kick off on the Caribbean island of Barbados at the BBC Top Gear Festival on May 17.

Rhys Millen is the New Zealand-born son of US-based Kiwi rally and off road racer Rod Millen.

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- Wellington

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