Italian-American Alex Gelsomino, recognized the World over as the man brave enough to sit alongside self-proclaimed ‘Hoonigan’ Ken Block, was full of praise for the East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship after his first experience at the recent National Capital Rally.

Gelsomino, who resides in the US and recently married Rhiannon Smyth, sister of Brendan Reeves, travelled to Canberra for the first time to link up with Irishman Ritchie Dalton in the National 4WD category.
At the end of a weekend of mixed results for Dalton, Gelsomino said: “Sunday was a positive day, we won the four wheel drive class for the day and we took six of the seven stages. Saturday was a big shame, we had a mechanical issue four kilometres into the first stage and we lost a lot of time in the car.”
“I think the relationship with the driver and co-driver really began to click well, we proved the team work is there and the car is quick and solid.”
Gelsomino though was full of praise for the local rally scene, and with experience of both the Rally America series and the wider World Rally Championship, having partnered with Ken Block now for many years, he is in a unique position to offer his perspective.
“It is a really cool Championship, I think you’ve got something really good going on here in Australia. Your Championship has excellent television coverage and you have World class stages, amazing stages actually,” Alex said.
“I really liked coming to Canberra, the stages on Saturday reminded me very much of Portugal and the stages today (Sunday) were very fast and similar to what we have in America. Very challenging stages but also very beautiful to be honest, it was a pleasure to drive on them this weekend.”
“Obviously there is a nice battle going on in four-wheel drive, then you have the two-wheel drive guys who are having an amazing battle at the front. The Championship looks like a complete package and if you asked me it can only produce a good show for the TV and for the fans,” Gelsomino continued.
The deal with Dalton is for only three to four Rounds at this stage, with Dalton planning to focus his efforts on the East Coast events, bypassing the long haul to WA.
“My aim is to be at as many Rounds as I can,” explained Alex. “My next event with Ritchie might not be until Queensland or South Australia, so I’m talking to some drivers to maybe co-drive at the next Round in Western Australia but at this stage nothing is confirmed, but I’m hoping very soon.”

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