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5 Minutes with … Mark Nelson: ARC champ with Ordynski and Herridge

A two-time Australian Rally Champion co-driver and some-time rally journalist, Mark Nelson has been around rallying since the late 1970s.

His championship days may be long gone, but Nelson is still out there competing at a high level, and with a few items still to tick off his ‘Bucket List’.

We caught up with the proud South Australian...

RSM: What and who brought you into the sport?

Mark Nelson: In 1977 I saw a commercial on SA TV for this thing called rallying. It was an ad for the Endrust Forest Rally and from the brief clip of cars sliding sideways on dirt, I thought ‘this looks interesting’.

For some reason I couldn’t make it, and it was forgotten about for a year. In 1978, a new ad appeared and I said to myself that I must go up and see this live.

The Mt Crawford forest wasn’t far away, so I went up and found the main spectator area and heard and saw the Datsun Stanza and the outgoing 160J.

The noise of those carbies and the action and smell is what got me hooked, and by early 1979, I had converted my road car into a rally car. I have never looked back since.

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Author

Peter Whitten

Peter has been the editor of RallySport Magazine since its inception in 1989, in both printed and online form. He is a long-time competitor, event organiser and official, as well as working in the media. In 2020 he received a Motorsport Australia 'Media Service Award'.
Peter has been the editor of RallySport Magazine since its inception in 1989, in both printed and online form. He is a long-time competitor, event organiser and official, as well as working in the media. In 2020 he received a Motorsport Australia 'Media Service Award'.