Ken Block’s co-driver to contest Australian Rally Championship
- 20th January 2014, 12:44am
The 2014 Australian Rally Championship (ARC) will welcome an American to the ranks this year when Alex Gelsomino, co-driver for Ken Block in the World Rally Championship and Rally America Series, calls the notes for Richie Dalton.
Whilst Gelsomino will still sit beside Block this year, the driver, perhaps more well-known for his gymkhana videos which have been a YouTube sensation, is running a limited program and has given Gelsomino the freedom to co-drive in other events.
"Obviously my wife Rhianon is very knowledgeable about the ARC and has given me many tips and drivers to follow," Gelsomino said.
"I noticed Richie had done his first season in 2013, finishing all of the events, winning some of them and improving consistently, which is excellent and always a goal achieved on your first year.
"Sitting with a driver on his second season, like Richie, is a ride that I’m keen on at this stage of my career. He is a driver that shows solid potential and that I can help improve more and more."
After contacting Dalton and discussing options and details, we agreed on a deal and I decided to join him in the ARC.
“It’s pretty surreal to be honest,” said Dalton. "One week Alex is sitting beside Ken Block doing the second round of the American championship and four days later he will be beside me testing in Canberra. That opportunity was just too good to pass up - I had to get to Canberra and that was it."
Dalton had originally planned on doing little or no events this year so he could concentrate on getting the funds together for a 2WD Citroen DS3 but when the chance to partner with Gelsomino came up, it was one he grabbed with both hands.
"Luckily I have some very supportive sponsors and when I approached them about this once in a life time chance that was being given to me, they backed me straight away."
Dalton and Gelsomino and the Shamrock Motorsport team will start their partnership at the ARC season opener in Canberra and plan to contest a further three events this year.
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