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AAAA Magazine News Article


Swan Ignition Coils is proud to be supporting Emma Smith’s career in Rally Sport.

From humble beginnings driving her first car – her grandfather’s hand-me-down Holden Barina – to today driving rally cars, Emma Smith has always had a passion for adrenaline and competition.

Growing up competing in equestrian events, Emma’s interest in rally sport began when she attended a 2016 Australian Rally Championship event with her now husband, Ross.

With Ross as her navigator Emma entered her first event in 2017, competing in the RAA Southern Rally driving a 1992 Ford Telstar Ghia TX5.

Knowing that heading into the race as a novice with no experience was not a good idea, along with Ross she decided to attend Rally School the morning after their wedding day. There was no immediate honeymoon to be, as the motorsport bug had truly bitten Emma.

Her next venture was focusing on race team ‘Garage of Awesome’ which she now operates together with Ross. Part of their racing arsenal is a 1988 Nissan Skyline R31 which is used for off-road rallying with Emma as driver and a 1984 Nissan 300ZX Z31 used for tarmac rallying, with Emma as a navigator and Ross as driver.

Beyond what happens inside the car, Emma also assists mechanically and more specifically is responsible for tuning the 300ZX under the guidance of close friend Antus from PCM Hacking. Emma and Ross also run a professional IT consulting business under the same team’s name banner.

With the race team taking form Emma put on the brakes when she fell pregnant with their son Charlie and for the 2018 rally season, she played a support role, even taking Charlie with her on some race days.

Upon her return to rallying, her first rally win as navigator came in 2019 in the Nissan 300ZX (which is powered by Swan Ignition Coils) at October’s Adelaide RallySprint. This win was followed with a remarkable podium (third) placing behind two much more powerful Porches at December’s Adelaide Rally, while she was also back in the driver’s seat of her Nissan Skyline doing a season of Khanacross and two intro rallies.

Swan Ignition Coils says motorsport has surely opened the door to women, with Emma reporting that at all of the events she attends she is seeing more and more women in all sorts of roles, from drivers to navigators, support crews, officials and the list goes on.

With the balance equalling up, it is her belief that motorsport should not follow suite of other gender separated sports as there is no gender advantage in rally driving. It is motorsport women like Emma that are helping to pave the way for the next generation as she encourages any young woman interested in the sport to join a junior development program, says Swan Ignition Coils.

You can follow Emma’s rally career on Facebook @

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