Monday, 27 April 2015

Female Rally Drivers after 1950: India

Ashika Menezes, second right, at an autocross meeting

The Indian subcontinent has its own national rally championship, which has attracted several female drivers in recent years. This is in no way an exhaustive list of them, and it will be updated in future, although good information about Indian rallies is quite hard to find.

Rayna Aranha – did two seasons of rallying in India, in 2005 and 2006. Her usual navigator was Radikha Chaliha. Her first event was the Hyderabad Rally in December 2005, in which she was seventh, and first lady. She contested the Rally Star Cup in 2006. The model of car she used is unclear, although it may have been a Maruti. She also participated in autocross, with some success in the womens’ classes, and, in 2005, drag racing. One of the reasons she took on the challenge of rallying was that she wanted to overcome her tendency towards motion sickness. Previously, she was a model, and she now works in IT.

Garima Avtar - rallied in India during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Her 2014 car was a Volkswagen Polo, in which she scored two 19th places in the Colmbatore and Maharashtra rallies. She drove a Maruti Esteem in 2015 and had a best finish of 22nd overall in the K1000 Rally. As well as stage rallies, she has competed in rally raids, including the Raid de Himalaya. She began her motorsport career in 2011 and was supported by Mahindra in 2013, running in rally raids.   

Nawaz Bhathena (Sandhu) - Indian driver from a family of rallyists. She has competed on the circuits and the special stages, but is mostly a rally driver. She was most active in the Indian rally championship between 1997 and 2001, driving a Maruti (Suzuki) Esteem. She was ninth in the championship in 1998, having scored two fifth places in the Castrol Deccan and Popular rallies. In 2013, she was selected to take part in a Toyoto Etios one-make racing series, alongside her brother. As of 2018, she is India’s representative on the FIA’s Women in Motorsport commission.

Anitha Kholay – driver from Bangalore, active in Indian motorsport since 1995. She started rallying as a co-driver, navigating for her husband, Rupesh, before taking the wheel herself in 2003, in three rounds of the Indian Rally Championship.  She was fourth in the Rally Star class of the Bangalore Rally. After that, she has competed, on and off, in rallying, with a break in 2006 for motherhood, as well as motorcycle enduros and autocross, in a Maruti. In 2010, she was second in a special VW Polo ladies’ race at Chennai. In 2016, she entered the Rally of Malaysia in a Proton Satria. She was eighteenth overall and won her class. Anitha is probably better known as a model and fashion stylist.

Ashika Menezes – rallied a Maruti Esteem in the Indian championship in 2013, with a best finish of fourteenth, in the Coffee Day Rally. In 2014, she co-drove for her erstwhile navigator, Lokesh Gowda. She has been active in motorsport since at least 2012, usually in autocross, where she often wins the Ladies’ class. Her first season in rallying was 2013. In only her second-ever rally, the Coffee Day Rally, she became the first Indian female driver to score a podium finish in twenty years, after her third place in the Junior category, out of fourteen drivers. She was fourteenth overall. In 2014, she also did some circuit racing, in the one-make Toyota Etios Cup. The results are not forthcoming. In 2015, she co-drove for Lokesh Gowda again. In 2016, she continued as a co-driver, in stage rallies as well as off-road events.

Sarika Sehrawat – takes part in both stage and cross-country rallies in India. She began in earnest in 2003, winning the ladies’ class in the Himalaya Desert Rally, driving a Suzuki Maruti. Between then and 2011, she was a regular presence in the Suzuki Desert Rally and the Himlalaya Raid rally, in her Maruti. Usually, she won the ladies’ prize, and she was also a multiple ladies’ autocross champion. In 2012, she added the Mughal Rally and the Summer Sprint Rally to her Coupe des Dames tally. As well as rallying, she took part in the VW Polo Ladies’ circuit racing Cup in 2010 and 2011, finishing second both times. Her last competitive outing seems to have been a women-only rally in Guragon, in 2013. She now works as a TV motorsport commentator.

Farah Vakil – veteran Indian driver who is most famous for her win in the Himalayan Rally in 1990, driving a Maruti Gypsy. This was not her first rally win: she was the first female driver to win India’s Rally d’Endurance in 1989, in another Maruti. Her first rally car, which she put together with her father in 1988, was a Maruti, which she used in the Goodyear Women’s Car Rally, encouraged by her enthusiast father. She was fourth overall. After being India’s leading female driver between 1988 and 1995, she retired for a long time, before making a small comeback in 2015. She drove a Volkswagen Polo in the Rally of Coimbatore, navigated by Ashika Menezes, and was 23rd overall.

Bani Yadav - competes in rallies and rally raids in India, as well as autocross and other disciplines. She started her career quite late, when she was over 40, in 2013. She has used a number of cars in stage rallies. Her best result in a major event is probably her fourth place in the 2015 Coffee Day Rally, driving a Mitsubishi Cedia. In 2016, she entered some of the Indian championship. She was eleventh in the Rally de North, driving a Volkswagen Polo. In rally raids, her usual vehicle is a Maruti Gypsy 4x4. She has won several ladies’ awards in Indian raids since 2014, including the Raid de Himalaya in 2014 and the 2015 Suzuki Desert Storm Rally.  

(Image from

Thanks to Ashika Menezes for her input into this post.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Female Rally Drivers after 1950: Poland

Magdalena Cieślik and Magda Lukas celebrate

There are now enough Polish drivers on Speedqueens to warrant their own post. This will be added to in future.

Izabela Bzyl - Polish driver active since 2010. She is part of the “Bzylki Sisters” team, with her sister Katarzyna Bzyl as team manager and occasional driver. In 2010 and 2011, her car was a Peugeot 206. Her best result was a 34th place in the Rajd Karkonoski. In 2012, she acquired a Renault Clio, and improved her best finish to 30th, in the Rajd Świdnicki-Krause. Her usual navigator is Jakub Domański. After 2012, the team has struggled for funds, and has only occasionally competed at lower levels, such as a women-only rally in Poznan in 2014.

Magdalena Cieślik - Polish driver most active between 1999 and 2002, although there are records of her beginning her career in 1997 in a Renault 21, and entering some Polish Championship events in 1998. Her major rally entries were mainly in Poland. In 1999 and 2000, she used an N1 Fiat Seicento, in which she had a best finish of 28th, in the Rajd Zimowy. After a brief experiment with a Nissan Micra, she acquired a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV, later updated to an Evo VI. This marque gave her her best finishes of her career: seventh in the Rajd Zimowy in 2001 and 2002, and ninth in the Rajd Krakowski in 2002. She was also seventh in the 2002 Rajd Rzeszowski-Fuchs, driving an Evo VII. Her last major event seems to have been the 2004 Rajd Barborka in Poland, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI.

Janina Jedynak - competed extensively in Poland in a Polski Fiat in the 1970s. She mostly rallied in the Eastern Bloc countries but did make one WRC start in 1978, when she entered the Acropolis Rally but did not finish. She won two runnings of the women-only Rajd Pan (Ladies’ Rally) in 1972 and 1974, in the Fiat. Most of the time she was happy to be involved in mixed competition and she secured a third place in the Nocny Rajd Rzeszowski in 1970. In 1974 she took part in the Cup of Peace and Friendship, rallying in East Germany, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. She also competed as a co-driver during the same time period, and is remembered as one of Poland’s foremost female drivers.

Paula Kucharewicz ("Pajka") – rallies a Vokswagen Polo in her home country of Poland. In 2015, she competed in the Centrum Cup, a club-level championship. 2015 looks to be her first year of rallying. Her best result so far seems to be a sixth place in the Warsaw Rally, out of 23 drivers. She also won her class. In 2016, she earned her first podium position, a third in the Rajd Nowomiejski, in the Polo. She was also seventh in the Warminski Rally, and second in her regional championship, with a class win. She rallied a Peugeot 208 in 2017, running a shorter programme than previously. Her best result was thirteenth, in the Rally Warminskie Szutry. In 2018 she did not compete and only ran as a course car on the Rajd Sokolski. Her usual co-driver in Dzienis Bartosz. 

Zofia Kwasnieska - rallied a Volkswagen Beetle and other small cars in Poland in the 1960s. She took part in at least two runnings of Rally Poland in 1963 and 1964, driving the Beetle. Later, she won two editions of the Poland’s women-only rally, the Rajd Pan (Ladies’ Rally). She was the victor in 1967 driving an Austin 1000 (probably a Mini) and in 1970. She also used a Soviet-built Zastava in the 1969 Rajd Pan. In 1963, she was fifth in her class in the Polish rally championship.

Klaudia Temple - Polish driver active in major rallies in Poland since 2011. For her first season, she drove a Citroen Saxo. Her best result was 34th in the Rajd Cieszyńska Babórka. In 2012, she broke into the top twenty on the Rajd Karkonoski, in 19th place, having swapped the Citroen for a Honda Civic. She was later 20th in the Rajd Cieszyńska Babórka. In the same car, she competed around Poland in 2013. Her bet result improved again to 17th, in the Rajd Wisly. She continued to rally in Poland in 2014, still in the Civic. She did not quite manage to get into the top twenty this year, with a best result of 21st, in the Nadwiślański Rally. She was fourth in class. In 2015, she was fourth in her class again, in the Civic. Her best overall result was 27th, in the Nadwiślański Rally. This improved to 25th in 2016, still in the Civic. She did fewer rallies this year. In 2017, she was fifth in a rallysprint event at Makow, in the Civic. She also did some rounds of the Polish championship, and was fifth in her class. In 2019, her only major event was the Rajd Dolnoslaski. She was 18th in a Peugeot 208. Her usual navigator is Jakub or Kamil Wrobel.

Barbara Wojtowicz – rallied in Poland, on and off, between 1947 and 1963, in a variety of small cars, including a Simca Aronde and NSU Prinz. Among her earliest was a Fiat 1100, which she used in the 1947 Polish Rally. She competed in the Polish Rally on several occasions, throughout her career, and her best result in it was eleventh, in 1963, when she was 45 years old. The car on this occasion was a Renault Dauphine. Barbara was more known for her active role in the Polish resistance during the Second World War. She died in 2009.

Ewa Wójtowicz – best known for rallying a Citroen C2 in Polish rallies. She has driven this car since at least 2009, when she entered the Rajd Barbórka. In 2011, she was very active, and had a best finish of 32nd, in the Świdnicki-Krause Rally. She has continued to compete since then, usually with the Palonka rally team, including in some events in Slovakia, in 2014. One year, possibly in 2011, she was runner-up in class in a Polish rally championship. 

(Image from

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Emma McKinstry

Kenny and Emma McKinstry

Emma McKinstry is a second-generation Northern Irish driver, a daughter of Kenny McKinstry. She is the only female McKinstry to compete seriously in motorsport, although her sister, Susan, has navigated for their father.

Her usual car is a Subaru Impreza, and her favoured surface seems to be Tarmac. She has driven in a variety of Irish and UK events, including the WRC Rally Ireland.

Her earliest rallying experience was co-driving for her father in the 2002 Lurgan Park Rally. The car was a Subaru Impreza WRC, and they were second overall.

Before the Impreza, the first car she drove herself in competition was a Peugeot 106. She used this car in both stage rallies and club hillclimbs. Her first major event, the International Ulster Rally, ended in retirement, but she was not put off, and returned the following year, to finish 24th, and third in class. She also finished the Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally, in 58th place.

For 2005, she had a new car, a Group N Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI. She handled the hike in power well, and captured her first top-twenty finish, an eighteenth place in the Kirkistown Eurocables Stages. Later in the season, she was 20th in the Galloway Hills event, and in between, she drove in her first Rally of Ireland. She acquitted herself well against an international field of drivers, and was 24th overall, out of 43 entries.

2006 was Emma’s busiest rallying year yet. Encouraged by her Rally of Ireland finish, and with some god sponsors behind her, she entered the British National Championship, and crossed over to mainland Britain for the first time. In Scotland in March, she was fourteenth in the Brick and Steel Border Counties Rally, and fifteenth in the Ulster International Rally. Her usual car this year was the Mitsubishi, but the Ulster rally was her first outing in a Subaru Impreza, meaning that she joined a very elite group of female drivers who have rallied WRC cars in anger. Back in the Lancer, she was eleventh in the Park Systems National Stages, and tenth in the Moonraker Forestry Rally, another visit to the Republic of Ireland, a first top ten, and proof that she could cut in on gravel as well as tarmac. She had started the year with her second Rally of Ireland, and was 21st overall, in the Lancer.

She adopted the Impreza, run by McKinstry Motorsport, full-time in 2007. Her competition programme took in rallies in both parts of Ireland. She achieved three top-ten finishes, all on gravel this year: ninth in the Limerick Forestry Rally, sixth in the Cork Forestry Rally, and sixth in the Killarney Forestry Rally. She was just outside the top ten in the Lurgan Park Rally, in eleventh. Her third Rally of Ireland, running this year as a World Championship round, gave her a 35th place.

Gravel was her preferred surface in 2008, and the top ten finishes continued. She was sixth in the Limerick Forestry Rally. Sadly, mechanical problems put her out of the Ulster Rally. The Impreza, in the hands of works Subaru WRC drivers, has always been more of a gravel car.

2009 was mainly spent on tarmac again. Her best result was sixth again, achieved at both Kirkistown and Bishopscourt. This year, she was Northern Ireland’s top female driver.

It was a much quieter year for Emma in 2010, with not much in the way of modern stage rallying. She did get out in historic competition, however, driving a Sunbeam Avenger. This was her first experience of driving a historic rally car, although she had navigated for her father in a MkII Escort previously. She entered the Circuit of Ireland, an event she had previously taken part in in modern machinery.

In 2011, she won the McKinstry Motorsport Rally Time Trial, driving an Impreza. This was her first outright win. Her season in the Northern Irish championship had several other highlights, including a fourth place in the Kirkistown Stages, seventh in the New Year and Lurgan Park rallies, and eighth in the Bishopscourt Stages.

In 2012, she was ninth in the McKinstry Time Trial, in an Impreza. This was another rather quiet season, with a ninth spot in the Hankook Down Rally as a highlight.

She was quite successful in 2013, with a fourth, fifth and ninth overall in Irish rallies. The ninth place came in the Ulster Rally, her highest finish in this particular event. For the Turkey Run Tarmac Stages, she stepped away from the Impreza, and drove a Proton Compact instead, but did not finish.

Her best 2014 finish was fourth, in the Winter Stages Rally. She was also sixth in the McGrady Insurance Bishopscourt Stages, and seventh in the Lurgan Park Rally, all in the Impreza. This was enough for tenth place in the Northern Irish championship, and another Northern Ireland Ladies’ award.

Emma continued to rally in 2015, although she was not officially contesting any championships. Her best result was fourth, in the New Year Stages Rally, a regular part of her rallying calendar. She was also seventh in the Kirkistown Stages Rally.

She rallied two different Imprezas in 2016. Starting with her previous '01 model, she was fifth in the Pacenotes Rally Magazine Stages Rally, the first round of the Northern Irish championship. In the summer, she rallied her father's '08 Impreza WRC, and was immediately third in the Tyrone Stages, another asphalt rally. She also won her class. In October, she had another outing in the '08 car, and was thirteenth in the Down Rally. 

2018 consisted of just the one rally for Emma. She was fourteenth in the Down Rally, driving the '08 Impreza.

(Image copyright William Neill)

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Wendy Markey (Amey)

Wendy with the Mazda RX-3

Wendy is a British woman who raced in national saloon championships in the 1970s. She took part in some international touring car races too, and drove in works teams for Mazda and Lada.

Her background was completely unrelated to motorsport; she trained as a dancer, and performed in musical theatre and comedy, appearing on The Benny Hill Show, among other things. It was only after her marriage, to racing driver and BMW team manager, John Markey, that she became acquainted with the world of motorsport.

Her first race came in 1972, and was apparently the result of a bet. Whether she won the bet, is unclear. Using a borrowed Honda N600, she drove in the Production Saloon championship at Oulton Park.

The following year, she attacked the Production Saloon (Group 1) championship again, in a BMW 2002 Ti this time, supported by the UK BMW works team. As well as circuit racing, the team ran her in the Avon Tour of Britain, partnered by Jenny Dell. She was 19th overall and beat Rosemary Smith to the Ladies’ award, as well as finishing above Graham Hill in his Datsun Bluebird.

A change to the rules brought Wendy into the British Touring Car Championship, then known as the British Saloon Car Championship, in 1974. The BSCC was now running to Group 1 specification. Wendy had secured another factory-supported drive, this time for Mazda. Her car was a Savanna RX3. She completed most of the season, which included too many non-finishes for her to make an impression on the final leaderboard. Her best finish was seventh, at Mallory Park. Female drivers were less unusual then in the BSCC than they are now, but Wendy attracted a lot of attention due to her team’s main sponsor: Penthouse magazine.

As well as the BSCC, she competed internationally, in some rounds of the European Touring Car Championship. She shared the RX-3 with Australian Brian Muir for the Silverstone TT race, but they did not finish, due to an oil leak in the gearbox. She also made one appearance in a Ladies’ Shellsport Escort race, driving a Ford Escort Mexico. She was seventh.

She drove a Mazda RX-3 for both 1975 British Group 1 Championships, sponsored by Britax and Radio One. She performed well in both, and was third in her class in the Britax series, and fourth in class in the Radio One series. Classes for Group 1 racing were based on the retail price of the car.

There was more women-only action in 1975, too. Wendy took part in the Shellsport Escort Series, now a four-round championship run in association with the British Women Racing Drivers’ Club. She won the last round, at Mallory Park, and was third overall. This was not her only womens’ event; she was invited to drive in the Ladies’ Race supporting the Monaco Grand Prix, but crashed out.

She stayed with Group 1 in 1976, although she changed her car from a Mazda to a Lada 1200, supported by the Lada factory. Her programme included a second Tour of Britain, in which she won another Ladies’ award. As well as the Lada, she was scheduled to race a Mazda in the Silverstone 6 Hours, with Georgie Shaw, but this did not happen.

Her third season in the Shellsport Escort series gave her a best finish of third, at Snetterton, and she was enough for sixth in the championship.

In 1977, it was back to Mazda power, still in the RX-3. One of her team-mates was her husband, John, who drove a sister car, an RX-5. Sponsored by Smith Kendon Travel Sweets, a slightly less controversial company, she competed in several rounds of the European Touring Car Championship, with Tom Hunt as her co-driver. They were disqualified from their first race, at Salzburg, for receiving a push start, but got to the finish of the Brno round in 19th place. They were 35th, from 38 finishers, at the Nürburgring, but did not finish at Silverstone. A planned entry into the Brands Hatch 6 Hours did not transpire.

Wendy’s chosen car for 1978 was a Mini 1275 GT. Sharing it with John Markey and Alan Shaw, she managed to finish the Diner’s Club Trophy at Silverstone. For most of the season, she raced in the Special Saloon championship in the UK, with her husband and second team-mate. Unfortunately, she had quite a bad accident at Mallory Park, on a wet track, and broke an ankle. The Mini was a write-off, and this was the end of her motorsport activities for some time. Divorce also intervened some time afterwards.

In 1988, now Wendy Amey, she returned to the circuits in a Chevron B8, usually racing in the HSCC2-Litre Championship, and Super Sports. This lasted for two seasons, before she hung up her helmet for good, to concentrate on family and business concerns.

More recently, Wendy has been involved in the classic motorcycling scene, as the business and life partner of former world champion, Phil Read.

(Image from

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Copa de Damas and Formula Hyundai Femenina

Marisa Panagopulo

Both the Copa de Damas (Ladies’ Cup) and Formula Hyundai Femenina ran in Argentina, in the 1990s. The Copa appeared first, in 1994, followed by Formula Hyundai Femenina (not to be confused with single-seater series run elsewhere, with similar names.)

Both were one-make saloon championships, with the Copa de Damas running Nissan Sentras, and Formula Hyundai Femenina using the Hyundai Accent. During the 1990s, there were several womens’ racing championships in Argentina, and South America generally, and for a few seasons, Formula Hyundai Femenina ran concurrently with the Copa de Damas.

There was some crossover between the two championships, with several drivers moving between them, including Marisa Panagopulo, who won both, Karina Furlan and Claudia Teatini. A number of drivers from outside Argentina raced in the two series over their lifetimes. These included Shantal Kazazian, from Chile.

The Copa de Damas was quite closely associated with the Turismo Carretera touring car championship in Argentina, and some of the drivers from both ladies’ championships later joined the TC grid. They included Marisa Panagopulo and Ianina Zanazzi, who also raced single-seaters, with some success.

Interest in women-only competitions was dwindling towards the end of the 1990s. The Nissan-based series was replaced by a similar one for the Vauxhall/Opel Corsa, but this too disappeared after 1999.

Winners – Copa de Damas
1994 Marisa Panagopulo
1995 Maria Angelica Alberdi
1996 Silvina Genjo
1997 Mariela Manfredotti

Winners – Formula Hyundai Femenina
1995 Marisa Panagopulo
1996 Claudia Teatini
1997 Karina Furlan
1998 Gabriela Crespi

For profiles of some of the drivers who raced in these series, try here.
The Campeonato Brasileiro Ford Fiesta Femenino, a similar Brazilian championship, is discussed here.

(Image from

Friday, 10 April 2015

Emma Gilmour

Emma Gilmour with the Suzuki Swift

Emma is a driver and co-driver from New Zealand. For quite some time, she has been the top female rally driver in her country, and has competed around the world. In 2014, she branched out into rallycross.

Her earliest forays into rallying were in the co-driver’s seat. In 1999 and 2000, she navigated for her cousin, Gwynn Gilmour, in the Rally of New Zealand. Her sister, Monica, was a rally driver too, and Emma read the maps for her on occasion. From the very start, Emma’s rally career was international in nature; in 2002, she partnered Alistair Cavenagh in the Canberra Rally, in Australia.

2002 was the year that she got behind the wheel herself. Her first rally car was a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3, bought from Gwynn. Her first rally was the Targa Bambina tarmac rally, and she started her career off well, with sixth overall, and first in the four wheel drive class. Her first gravel stage rally was the Rally of Rotorua, and she was on the pace against established APRC drivers, finishing 16th overall. Almost unbelievably, her first season as a driver included a run in the Rally of New Zealand, which she did not finish, and an overseas trip. She did not manage to finish the Japanese Alpine Rally either, although she set some decent stage times before retiring. 

Emma’s first year as a fully-fledged rally driver saw her push herself so far, it would have been difficult to keep up such momentum. Her return to the Rotorua Rally ended when her Lancer lost a wheel, and another accident dropped her out of the Rally of New Zealand.

In 2004, she contested the New Zealand Rally Championship, driving a Lancer Evo VI this time. Despite a couple of disappointing retirements, it was another year of progress. She scored her first top-ten finish in the Rally of Otago, coming ninth, and then surpassed it in the Rally of Nelson, finishing sixth. For a change, she entered the Targa New Zealand in a works Suzuki Ignis, and won the small car class. She was 30th overall, and set one twelfth fastest stage time, against cars with much bigger engines.

Her competition schedule in 2005 was squarely based in New Zealand, revolving around the NZ championship in a Lancer Evo VI. During this season, she travelled to Europe, to become a student of the legendary John Haugland, at his Rally School in Norway. She did not actually compete. At home, she managed her first Rally of New Zealand finish, in 26th place. She was the second New Zealand finisher. In June, she did not finish in Rotorua, normally her best event, but she did score her first podium place; a third in the Rally of Otago. She was second in the NZ championship, after a sixth place in a heat for the Wairapa Rally. Away from the championship, she was fifth overall in the Targa New Zealand, despite a heavy penalty for an illegal tyre change, and ninth overall, with a class win, in the Race to the Sky hillclimb.

For 2006, she looked toward Europe. Using money from a private sponsor, she secured a wildcard entry into the Ford Fiesta Shootout, in the UK. She was the winner of the International Scholarship award, and received entries into the Rallies of Germany and Finland, as part of the Fiesta Sporting Trophy. She was 50th in the Rally Deutschland, seventh in class, and although she was only 65th in Finland, with a class sixth, she secured some class stage wins. Later in the year, she picked up more funding for her Fiesta campaign, and entered the Wales Rally GB, but did not finish. She was thirteenth in the Fiesta Sporting Trophy.

Back at home, she switched from Mitsubishi to Subaru power, and performed well in the Rally of New Zealand, posting top-three Production WRC stage times, and finishing 24th. Rotorua was once more a lucky event for her, and she was ninth. A third overall in the Targa New Zealand was another podium finish for her collection, and she was second in her class at the Race to the Sky. At the end of the year, she was awarded the Rally Founders’ Trophy by the New Zealand motorsport association, for achievements and sportsmanship.

She had a stellar start to 2007, coming second in the Otago Rally in the Impreza, her best result so far. At the Whangerei Rally, the second round of the NZ championship, she was on course to repeat this, having won some stages, but a major crash ended her involvement, and destroyed her car. She did not compete for several months, until winning another scholarship drive for September’s Rally New Zealand, in an Impreza WRX. Her final position was 33rd, 13th in the PWRC. This drive led to an offer from Subaru Japan to compete in the Rally of Japan, a WRC round, in a similar Impreza. She did not finish, retiring at the beginning of the last day.

2008 was a comparatively quiet year. Emma had her own Subaru back on the road, and entered the NZ championship. Her best result was a third place, in the Nelson Rally. Another run in the Rally of New Zealand gave her a 16th place. Away from the main championship, she was fourth in the Targa.

After this rather subdued season, she spread her wings again in 2009, entering the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, in the Impreza. Her first event was the Red Devil Rally in Queensland, Australia, and she was fourth overall. She was fifth in the Whangerei Rally, third APRC finisher, and fourth in Japan. The Malaysian round gave her her best finish, second, in the jungle, and she was third and sixth in Indonesia and China. Her consistency was rewarded by second in the APRC championship. Despite her international schedule, she still had time for the NZ championship, and her string of top-five finishes, including another second, was enough for third overall.

Although 2010 was more domestic in nature for Emma, it was successful. She did everything apart from win in the NZ championship, scoring two seconds and two thirds, and was the fourth NZRC finisher in the Rally of New Zealand (17th overall). On the WRC front, she was second in the PWRC in New Zealand, and twelfth overall. This, and her runner-up spot in the NZRC, helped her to become the highest-placed female driver in the Castrol rankings for the year.

The following season, she stayed close to home again, and had another good year in the NZ Championship. Her best finishes were two third places, at Hawkes Bay and in the Rally of New Zealand, which was unfortunately no longer a WRC rally. She retained her runner-up spot in the championship.

In 2012, she was runner-up in the NZ championship yet again, after a second in the Rally of Wairarapa, a third in the Otago Rally and sixth at Whangarei. She was fourteenth in the Rally of New Zealand itself. Only the Gisborne Rally was a disappointment, ending in suspension failure.

2013 was spent developing the Suzuki Swift Maxi in New Zealand. In the one rally where the car made it to the end, Emma was eleventh: the Rally Wairarapa. The Swift had suffered repeated engine problems all season, which were only fixed right at the end.

The situation was similar in 2014, although it was the Whangarei Rally, the first of the season, rather than the last, that she finished this time. She was in 21st place.

She also took part in rallycross, racing in the Red Bull Global Series, in a Hyundai Veloster Turbo, alongside Rhys Millen. The team was also run by Rhys Millen, another New Zealander. Emma was driving in the Supercar class, and competed in the USA and Barbados. Her best finish was seventh, achieved at Austin, Texas. She was thirteenth in the championship.

In 2015, Emma rallied again, driving the Suzuki Swift in the NZ championship, after warming up for the season with a rallysprint in March. Mechanical problems again dumped her out of the Whangerei and Otago Rallies, but she was on the pace again at Canterbury, finishing fourth. She was then fifth at Gisborne, a disappointing 35th in the Coromandel Rally, and a strong third in the Rally Manawatu. This left her fifth in the New Zealand championship.

Setting her sights internationally once more, Emma travelled to Qatar to take part in the FIA Women In Motorsport Desert Challenge. This was an assessment and shoot-out, with a prize of a funded drive in the 2016 Sealine Desert Challenge rally raid. With navigator Lisette Bakker, she was the outright winner of the challenge, and will take up her prize-drive. 

Back the the familiar territory of the NZ Championship, she made history in 2016 by becoming the first female driver to win a rally outright. She won the Rally of Canterbury in June, in the Suzuki Swift. This followed a second place in the Rally of Whangarei. Although the Otago and Gisborne rallies ended in mechanical failures for her, she was still sixth in the NZ championship.

Her 2017 season in the Swift started frustratingly, with three retirements, but Emma got back on track later in the year. She was ninth in the Gold Rush Rally of Coromandel, then fifth in the Waitamo Rally. She was ninth in class in Rally New Zealand and 16th overall.

By 2018 she had really got the hang of the Swift and the results started to come. She was fourth in the Whangarei and South Canterbury rallies and second in the Whare Flat Rallysprint.

Emma admitted on social media that 2019 was not a good year for her. The latest AP4 iteration of the Swift was unreliable in the early part of the season and overheated during the Rally of Whangerei. She did manage to finish the Coromandel Rally later in the year, in 24th place. The highlight for her was a win in the Supercharge Batteries Circle Hill Rallysprint, out of 47 finishers.

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