Meet the Co-Driver – Noel Moloney

Noel Moloney

Name: Noel Moloney
Motorsport Club: Thames Valley Car Club

When did you first start rallying?
My family are all interested in rallying and I have spectated with my family, my uncle from a very young age.  The first time I co-drive was in 2002, age 21 in County Tipperary with Anthony O’Brien from Limmerick, driving a Vauxhall Nova.

I personally think sitting in the “silly seat” of a rally car is a little un-nerving.  Do you ever get nervous / sick / worried?
Yes I do get nervous but once we get into the first stage, it gets serious, no time for nerves.

I know the effort that you put in behind the scenes before a rally etc, but for the sake of our readers, would you like to explain what you do, and what you’re responsible for during a rally weekend?
Documentation needs to be completed, we go through all the paperwork, I go through the stage notes and make any necessary changes, debrief the service crew on their responsibilities.  Rest up, alcohol free :-).  Early wake up, good breakfast and team is ready to go.

Do you prefer a certain type of car?  If so, what is it and why?
Mk2 Escort, Millington 2.5, because that’s a proper car!

What rally / stage has been the most memorable for you and why?
A memorable stage for me in Ireland is Molles Gap, Killarney. The best tarmac stage in Europe.  In NZ it would be Ruarangi Road stage / Whangarei – Love them crests.

Do you prefer gravel or tar seal and why?
I prefer Tarmac, its fast but I like gravel as well. Keep it balanced.

How would you advise someone thinking of starting out in the sport as a co-driver?
Join a motor club, talk to people, advice is free. It’s  a good hobby to have.

Have you had a go at the driving at any time?  How did that go?
I’ve done an auto cross in Ireland. It was good fun, on gravel.

What do you like to do to relax when not rallying?
I spend time with my kids most important. And I enjoy a beer or two with the lads.

I joined Thames Valley Car Club in 2010.  They are a great bunch of people to be involved with.  Rallying in NZ is top level.  I’m enjoying my time in the car with Jonesy this season.  Its good craic.

Thanks Noel for taking the time to do this.

Noel has had an awesome year with Jonesy and failed to mention the success this duo have had this year.  Well done!

What Noel also forgot to mention was what a total privilege it was to come and co-driver for me in this years Tauranga Clubmans!  Noel was patient to start with, but it didn’t take long for him to start sharing his wealth of experience in his forthright and expressive manner to encourage me on.  In fact we gained 10 places in one stage and I’m pretty sure that was because of the threats coming from the passenger side of the car!  All joking aside, I had an awesome day and really appreciated Noel helping me to learn how to drive quickly on gravel.




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