Rally of New Zealand are proud to announce the highly successful Rally New Zealand Co-Drivers Academy will return for a second running in 2018. The academy, which is aimed at developing Kiwi co-driving talent, will take on six co-drivers and will be held in Auckland on August 3-5.

As in 2017, Rally New Zealand have enlisted highly regarded professional co-drivers Alex and Rhianon Gelsomino as tutors for the three-day academy. The couple both call the USA home, but have plenty of history rallying in New Zealand, Alex alongside international superstar Ken Block for multiple NZRC and WRC events, while Rhianon has taken an NZRC round victory alongside her brother Brendan Reeves as well as a full APRC campaign alongside Emma Gilmour.

The Rally New Zealand Co-Drivers Academy was run for the first time in 2017 and each of the six participants have proven the worth of the academy with impressive results alongside top level drivers.

“The Academy was received incredibly well last year, with the co-drivers who participated benefitting immensely from their new-found knowledge. Hayden Paddon has clearly shown the world that Kiwis have what it takes to compete on the world stage, and we believe the Academy assists co-drivers greatly in taking the next step in their careers,” says Paul Mallard, Rally of New Zealand Chairman.

“As two professional co-drivers who have both won rounds of the New Zealand Rally Championship, we know what it takes to work at the highest level of our sport both Nationally and Internationally. Our goal is to see the development of more professional co-drivers from New Zealand, a country which has a great heritage in rallying. We are looking forward to working with the six co-drivers selected for the Rally New Zealand Co-Driver Academy and following their progress,” commented Rhianon.

“The Rally New Zealand Co Drivers Academy has taken my Co Driving to the next level. The Skills taught were shown straight away in my first event after the academy with improved organisation and quicker stage times,” said 2017 Academy graduate Kieran Anstis.

Fellow graduate Amy Stokes adds; “It was a great experience to start to understand what it takes to go all the way in this role! Alex and Rhiannon are both very professional but very friendly at the same time making the learning experience really enjoyable and it’s been great to have a group of co-drivers to mingle with and share/check ideas with before, during and after rallies!”

Applications for the Rally of New Zealand Co-Driving Academy close on Friday 29 June, with the six positions to be announced early July.
For further information please contact:
Email: info@rallynz.org.nz

  • Applications are now open and close at 5pm on Friday 29 June 2018
  • Applicants must currently be competing in the NZ Rally Championship and experience with safety/pace notes.
  • To apply please send a PDF CV of your current co-driving experience along with a covering letter detailing your future goals why you should be considered for the Academy
  • Applications to be sent via email to “The Chairman Rally of New Zealand”  info@rallynz.org.nz
  • The course cost is heavily subsidised through sponsor contributions. A cost per successful applicant of $450 applies. This course includes airport transfers in Auckland, accommodation August 2-3-4, and meals.