Rally New Zealand are proud to announce the highly successful Rally New Zealand Co-Drivers Academy will return for its third consecutive year in 2019. The academy, which is aimed at developing Kiwi co-driving talent, will take on six co-drivers and will be held in Auckland in 2019 with the date to be confirmed early in the year.
As in 2018, Rally New Zealand have enlisted highly regarded professional co-drivers Alex and Rhianon Gelsomino as tutors for the three-day academy. The couple are both based in the USA, but have enjoyed rallying in New Zealand multiple times, 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 again in 2018 with each of the 12 participants showing major improvements in their rallying careers post-Academy.
“The Academy has been received incredibly well over the past two years, with the co-drivers who participated benefitting hugely from their new-found knowledge. We believe the Academy is a vital step for New Zealand co-drivers wanting to further their rallying careers at the top level of our sport” says Paul Mallard, Rally of New Zealand Chairman.
“We are excited to be coming back to New Zealand again in 2019 to work with the next group of talented co-drivers selected for the Rally New Zealand Co-Drivers Academy. New Zealand has a strong heritage in rallying and as professional co-drivers who have both won rounds of the New Zealand Rally Championship we are proud to assist in developing more professional co-drivers there. We have thoroughly enjoyed following the progress of the past candidates and watching their performances improve over the past two years” Rhianon said.
“The Rally New Zealand Codriver Academy has been the absolute highlight of my year. I have had so many people approach me asking about the Academy and it has opened up so many opportunities for me this year, from co-driving for Dave Strong, to writing an article for my favourite magazine, and being able to share my new knowledge with co-drivers wherever I go” Said 2018 Academy graduate Katrina Renshaw.
Fellow graduate Amy Hudson adds “I gained so much out of the Rally New Zealand Co-drivers Academy and I will always keep that information with me. I would highly recommend the academy to any aspiring co-driver”.
Further to the 2019 Rally NZ Co-Drivers Academy, Rhianon and Alex Gelsomino will be running pacenote training with some of the top New Zealand teams at Rally New Zealand headquarters in January in 2019. Rally New Zealand will be providing logistical support and are pleased that the demand is high for this type of training in New Zealand. “The success of the Rally New Zealand Co-drivers Academy has really increased the demand for training amongst our teams. It is great to see Rhianon and Alex coming back to New Zealand to work further with our drivers and co-drivers. This is only going to see the level of competition in New Zealand rallying increase” said Paul Mallard.
Applications for the Rally of New Zealand Co-Driving Academy will be called for in early 2019.
For further information please contact:
- Applications will open in early 2019
- Applicants must currently be competing in the NZ Rally Championship (or entered and planning to compete in 2019) and have experience with safety/pace notes
- At the discretion of the Board applicants outside of the NZRC, considered to have NZRC potential may be considered
- The decision as to who is accepted is at the sole discretion of the Board of Rally New Zealand and their decision is final