Leading New Zealand rally driver Emma Gilmour participated in her first meeting as a member of the Women & Motor Sport Commission, part of the world governing body of motorsport the Federation Internationale de L’Automobile (FIA).
Nominated by MotorSport New Zealand at a meeting of the FIA General Assembly late in 2011, Dunedin-based Gilmour was then elected to the commission that includes representatives from other countries highly-ranked in the motorsport world.
The Women & Motor Sport Commission is headed by former World Rally Championship driver Michèle Mouton and was established by the World Motor Sport Council to facilitate greater participation by women in motorsport. Gilmour will sit alongside the rally icon and her former co-driver Fabrizia Pons, who represents the ACI-CSAI, Italy, and Gilmour’s role is to provide a voice from the Asia Pacific region at steering the commission’s strategies and policies.
“It is really exciting. I am very grateful to MotorSport New Zealand for thinking of me for the position. It is a great opportunity to be involved with the FIA at such a high level,” says Gilmour. “I’m looking forward to it; it will be a very big opportunity to work alongside so many influential, like-minded people.”
New Zealander Morrie Chandler, who is a vice president of the FIA and the World Motor Sport Council, says Gilmour’s appointment will help enhance New Zealand’s position on the world stage which has two major rally sport events – the Brother International Rally of Whangarei and Brother Rally New Zealand – on the 2012 calendar.
“The commission was set up two years ago to give women a direct voice in the planning and development of motorsport from their perspective. It is a real credit to both Emma and New Zealand motor sport that she should be elected to such an influential role and I am sure that her experience will be an asset to the commission.
“Emma has proven she’s an equal among men with her consistent rally championship results both in New Zealand and offshore. That makes her a perfect ambassador for women who need proof they can participate at any level and be a leader.”
Runner-up in the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) in 2011 and 2010, Gilmour also finished second overall in the 2009 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC).
For 2012 she and co-driving partner Glenn Macneall intend contesting the Brother International Rally of Whangarei, which is the opening round of the NZRC and APRC, and starts on 30 March. They will also contest Brother Rally of New Zealand, the seventh round of the WRC, which runs from 21 to 24 June and is based in Auckland.
Action image: please credit Euan Cameron. Portrait image: please credit Geoff Ridder.