Kiwi rally veteran among motorsport's best for new enviro-friendly competition

For more than two decades, Dunedin rally driver Emma Gilmour has just about seen every piece of gravel road across New Zealand.

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Emma Gilmour will be the only New Zealander to compete in the Extreme E Series. Source: 1 NEWS

Now she’s spreading her wings to the other side of the globe to do the same thing, albeit in a very different type of vehicle.

The 41-year-old has been hand-picked as the only New Zealander to compete in the inaugural season of Extreme-E.

The series is a radical new off-road motorsport series that sees E-SUVs racing head-to-head in areas of the world that have been damaged by climate change or human interference.

The objective of the series is to use sport and entertainment to highlight critical challenges facing the planet, trigger environmental change and to develop sustainable technologies and promote the adoption of electric vehicles in the quest for a lower carbon future.

And it has some serious backing.

Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton owns a team, as does Jenson Button. Former rally drivers Sebastien Loeb and Carlos Sainz will also be competing.

Gilmour told 1 NEWS she's both nervous and excited about competing.

"I haven’t driven this vehicle before, but when I get the call up it’s going to be getting pretty much thrown in to the hot-seat,” Gilmour said.

In what will be a world-first for motorsport, each team will have both a male and female driver. They’ll divide the driving up between them for each round.

Gilmour’s been picked as the reserve driver for Veloce Racing. While a drive in the series isn’t a guarantee, it’s likely she’ll be called upon at some point in the season.

With rounds based in Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Greenland, Brazil and Patagonia, Gilmour’s got every finger crossed her team comes calling sooner rather than later.