Emma Gilmour joins Veloce Racing as Reserve Driver in Extreme E
New Zealand's rally, rallycross and cross country top female name joins the ranks of Veloce Racing as reserve driver for the upcoming Extreme E championship.
Veloce Racing, an established eSports organization with deep roots in real-life motorsport and that just launched its first racing team for the upcoming inaugural season of Extreme E, announced that Emma Gilmour will be the team's female reserve driver.
Extreme E is a new all-electric off-road championship that will kick off on 3-4 April 2021, and is aimed at raising awareness on environmental issues and climate change. Created by Formula E mastermind Alejandro Agag, the series will feature five X-Prix events in remote areas of the planet.
Another crucial innovation will be Extreme E's full gender parity: it will in fact be the first ever racing series to feature a 50% male and 50% female grid. Each team will have to field both a male and female driver, as the pair will alternate at the wheel of the Odyssey 21 electric SUV.
Veloce Racing announced W Series reigning champion and Williams F1 Team development driver Jamie Chadwick as its female driver, partnering experienced both racetrack and rally driver Stéphane Sarrazin.
Chadwick, whose career is also managed by Veloce, will be returning to the all-female F3 championship W Series as well, after the cancellation of the 2020 season.
With the signing of Gilmour, it is thus expected that the New-Zealander rally and rallycross racer will sub in for Chadwick at the Arctic X Prix (28–29 August) and Amazon X Prix (23–24 October). Those dates are in fact conflicting with the W Series calendar, with Chadwick presumably prioritizing the latter.
41-year old Emma Gilmour is nonetheless a strong addition to the team: a versatile driver with rally, rallycross and cross country experience, she secured a scholarship in 2006 to contest her first international series, the Ford Fiesta Sporting Trophy. She famously achieved a stage win in Finland in the FIA World Rally Championship support series and entered further WRC events in Germany and the UK.
Gilmour continued her boundary-breaking career by becoming the first ever female to finish in the top-3 in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship in 2009, before claiming the Vice-Champion title in the New Zealand Rally Championship from 2010 to 2012.
In a factory Hyundai entry, Gilmour switched to rally-cross in 2014, reaching the top echelons in both Global Rallycross and X Games events, competing against Ken Block, Nelson Piquet Jnr and Scott Speed among the others.
Her achievements were awarded with the prestigious FIA Women In Motorsport selection in 2015, before she expanded her CV to cross country events of the likes of the Portugal Baja.
“I’m so happy to be joining Veloce Racing for the first season of Extreme E", she commented. "This series is so innovative and exciting, with its focus on gender equality and sustainability and an incredible environmental ethos. It just feels like something really positive to be a part of."
“I’m also thrilled to be working with such a fantastic team of drivers and engineers – they all have so much experience and talent from so many different areas of the motorsport world. It’s going to be great to share ideas with everyone and we can all put our own spin on the work we do."
“I’m fully committed to using my previous experience from rallying, rallycross and cross country competition to drive Veloce Racing forward. I can’t wait to get started!” – she concluded.
The Desert X Prix in Al Ula, Saudi Arabia, will kick off the innovative series on 3-4 April.