Kiwi Emma Gilmour has become the first female driver to compete in the Red Bull Global Rally Cross at the X Games, held in Austin, Texas over the weekend. With the star-studded field of drivers including the likes of teammate Rhys Millen, Ken Block, Travis Pastrana, and Tanner Foust, Emma made it through to the semi finals, finishing ahead of team mate Rhys Millen who suffered mechanical issue. “It was such an unbelievable experience to make the semis at the X Games. There was a lot of carnage going on around me but basically I just kept it clean and made it through,” Emma says. Gilmour was able to keep the Rhys Millen Racing-prepared Hyundai Veloster in one piece throughout the ferociously competitive heats: “The drivers were just desperately trying to be the first into the first corner and there was no room for more than two cars, which caused the bottleneck crashes,” Emma explains.
Having to deal with traffic as aggressive as it is in Rally Cross is a totally new experience for the rally veteran. “It is hugely exciting to be competing as one of the first women at the X Games in rally cross and paving the way for others in the future. On a personal level, it is such an amazing opportunity and I feel so fortunate to be driving at this event,” Emma says. Her next outing in the GRC is Washington on June 21–22 where she will be hoping to improve on her 12th placing.