The 21 year old is believed to be the only driver in the Northern Rallysprint Series to win every round since the inception of the series in 1988, despite going head to head against some tough rivals like current New Zealand Rally Champion Richard Mason, and 2013 New Zealand Rally Championship Class 5 winner, Graeme Featherstone throughout the series.
“Honestly, I have had so much fun doing this series and to win it like this is just awesome,” said Kelsey, “our team has also been working incredibly hard all season and it has finally paid off for us.”
“And to hear that I may have broken some sort of record is pretty cool too. I wasn’t expecting that but it’s a real credit to everyone who has helped me along the way.”
Contested over five rounds held throughout Northland, Waikato and Coromandel, Kelsey’s dominating form also translated into the times the young driver set. Kelsey has won every timed run across the rounds, another record believed to be broken by Kelsey and his Challenge team showcasing Kelsey’s pace.
Known for his self-built and prepared Challenge Subaru Impreza, Kelsey showed his ‘Kiwi-As’ attitude to building and maintaining the car and various parts at his home workshop had paid off, after the impressive performance of the Challenge Subaru, which remains unbeaten in the Northern Rallysprint Series.
The final round of the Northern Rallysprint Series also saw the introduction of a different challenge for many drivers, with three stages ran at night. Kelsey and his team mounted special lights to the bonnet and the roof of their Challenge Subaru Impreza to effectively illuminate the road ahead in the pitch black conditions.
“The night stages were so much fun!” enthused Kelsey, “I haven’t done many night stages before but I really enjoyed the challenge. I hope we get to do more night runs again soon.”
“Actually, the hardest thing about night stages is getting the lights set up right. Our pace notes [detailed directions] help but lights can make a huge difference to how fast you go. Our setup worked perfectly for us and everything else just fell into place.”
The evening stages certainly didn’t seem to affect Kelsey, or co-driver Malcolm Peden, too much as the duo still managed to set highly competitive times which were not much slower than their daylight runs, much to the surprise of the team.
Kelsey also says his success in the series over the past few months would not have been possible without the huge amount of support he has received from family, friends and fans around the country.
“I am so appreciative of all the support and encouragement I’ve had over the past few months, especially from around the Coromandel area and my sponsors Challenge. But of course the biggest thanks has to go to my family. Mum, Dad and Hamish [brother] are the ones who have really made all of this happen.”
Kelsey’s NZRC campaign is supported by Challenge, Dunlop and Possum Bourne Motorsport
Media Release: Alana McIsaac (August, 2013)