Rifat Out, Emma In!

Photo courtesy of MIRTThe APRC’s game of musical chairs continues, with the announcement that young Kiwi driver Emma Gilmore will replace Indonesian Rifat Sungkar in the second Motor Image Subaru.

Gilmore, who contested both Rally Whangerei and Rally Malaysia as part of the Pirelli Star Driver program last year, will team with co-driver Tarryn Cox during 2009, the first time an all-female crew has entered a full APRC championship season.

“Speed is in my blood and I have always grown up around cars, so rallying is a sport I relish”, said Gilmore, having spent part of the last month testing in Malaysia with MIRT. “I’m charged up and can’t wait to get behind the wheel to do some serious rallying. It’s such a privilege to be working with an excellent team with great expertise. I am looking forward to competing with Cody Crocker and hope to eventually one day snatch the championship title from him.”

Photo courtesy of MIRTAlong with its new driver line-up, Motor Image also unveiled the cars that will be used in defence of the 2008 APRC title; a pair of brand-new 2008-spec Subaru Impreza STis.

While these cars were expected to be used during the ’08 season, the team delayed their introduction to ensure it secured back-to-back titles for Cody Crocker. “Our new car has been tuned to the maximum to best exploit Subaru’s capabilities in the maneuvering of the rough courses in the APRC series,” said MIRT boss Glenn Tan.

Meanwhile Rifat Sungkar, the man who had occupied the #2 Motor Image Impreza for the past two seasons has yet to confirm whether he will compete again in the APRC.

This article originally appeared on aprclive.com and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship or its partner organisations.

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