Rally New Zealand announces co-driver academy class of 2023
Rally New Zealand are proud to announce the six co-drivers who have been selected to participate in the 2023 Rally New Zealand Co-driver Academy, to be held in Auckland on November 3-5.
2023 marks the return of the academy for a fourth edition after a four-year lay off. It sees co-drivers train with experienced professionals Alex and Rhianon Gelsomino on all aspects of the co-driving role. The pair have forged careers competing all around the world and have included victories in rounds of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship.
“We’re very excited to announce this year’s successful applicants. This year’s successful applicants have a broad range of experience and we’ve got a number of younger co-drivers with very strong goals moving forward which is great to see. We know that this group will benefit immensely from training with Alex and Rhianon,” said Paul Mallard, chairman Rally New Zealand.
Rally New Zealand has a proud history of supporting the development of competitors in rallying and we look forward to seeing the progression of this group following in the footsteps of several other competitors who have had support from Rally New Zealand in the past. These include the likes of Ben Hunt who won the first Rally New Zealand Rising Stars Scholarship and has gone on to win several classes in the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship culminating in the overall championship twice in 2015 and 2019. Supporting the development of the sport at its highest level is something that we feel strongly about, and this means supporting current top-level competitors as well as those who have a clear ambition and plan to achieve this level.”
The six successful applicants are:
Corrine Cutler – Morrinsville – Currently co-driving with JP van der Meys in the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship Open 2WD class including a class win at the South Canterbury Rally
Bella Haggarty – Christchurch – With a rally count higher than her age, Bella is a committed co-driver, currently contesting the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship Historic class alongside Australian driver Stewart Reid.
Dayna Kiekebosch – Hamilton – In her third season of rallying alongside uncle and rallying veteran Charlie Evans. The pair are currently contesting the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship NZRC 2WD class as well as the North Island Rally Series.
Sean Lockyear – Wellington – After two seasons in the Group A Challenge, Sean has moved into the NZRC 2WD class of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship alongside Bryn Jones, the pair recording their debut win at the most recent round, the Daybreaker Rally.
Olivia Robinson – Hamilton – Just a season into her career, Olivia has recorded some solid results in the North Island Rally Series alongside the likes of Lukas Ramsay and Mike Goldsbury.
Bayden Thomson – Auckland – In his second season of rallying alongside cousin Dylan, the pair are on track to secure their second NZRC 2WD and outright 2WD titles in the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship.
“Unfortunately as always there were more applicants than spaces available, and we hope to see those that missed out this time work with the feedback provided and to see them apply again in the future,” adds Mallard.
The 2023 Rally New Zealand Co-drivers Academy takes place in Auckland from November 3-5. The six attendees will receive professional training in all aspects of the co-driver’s role including practical pace note writing exercises, event planning, fitness training and media promotional activities.