Name: Sloan Cox
Age: 21 years old
Motorsport class: New Zealand Rally Championship and Rally Xtreme Series
Current Race/Rally Car: Mitsubishi Evo X
Website : www.coxmotorsport.blogspot.com and www.facebook.com/CoxMotorsport
At what age were you when you first got involved in motorsport?
I grew up watching Dad compete and then at 12 years old I got into the driver’s seat at club events. Tarryn started co-driving for me when I was 14. I competed in my first rally at 15 years and entered the New Zealand Rally Championship the same year.
Who was your biggest influence in rallying when growing up?
Definitely my Dad, Steve. He has given me a huge amount of support in pursuing my dream of rallying, even so far that he has stepped out of the car to fully focus on me. As soon as I said I wanted to try rallying, Dad has given his all to help me progress through the sport.
What was your first road car?
A 1963 Chevrolet Belair that we imported from America ourselves. It was my first taste of a left hand drive car.
What was your very first rally car?
A 2wd Suzuki Baleno (one of the former cup cars), it was a great car to learn to drive in. However I quickly outgrew the car and stepped into the ex Chris Barnes/Leanne Barnes Mitsubishi Evo 3. The Evo 3 is where I learnt most of my rallying skills from.
What is the ultimate special stage / rally for you?
It would probably have to be Whaanga Coast, Raglan. It is an awesome stage that is very challenging and has a great view of coastline that you race beside. Thankfully I have never had the privilege to admire the view for too long.
What is your career highlight to date?
I won the NZRC Junior Rally Championship in 2010. Also Rally Wairarapa 2011 we finished leg 1 second overall and then with the first placed car not starting leg 2 we had the challenge of being the first car on the road. This was a great experience learning to sweep the road and further building trust in the car, my co-driver and my abilities.
What vehicle format would you recommend for young drivers entering motorsport. Front wheel drive, rear wheel drive or 4 wheel drive and why?
For rallying front wheel drive is the right place to start and learn for young drivers. I think this is because the driving characteristics are a lot like driving a 4wd but with not as much power as you really learn how to push and control the car. From there it is really easy to step up into a 4wd car if you want to take your rallying further.
What advice could you give an up-and-coming driver looking for sponsorship?
Just keep at it. Think outside the box and determine what you can give the sponsor, as it is a two way partnership. Use resources/ contacts that you have to get in the door. Remember to go in fully prepared and trust yourself, you know the subject being yourself/car better than anyone else so you will always have the answer.
In your opinion who was the best rally driver of all time and why?
Sebastian Lobe without a doubt is the best rally driver of all time. He is just a machine.
Other than rally driving what other work are you involved in?
I am a mechanic by trade and work for Taslo Engineering servicing and keeping their vehicles and machinery going. I also have my crane and EWP tickets and when there is not any mechanical work that needs to be done I either assist on the worksites or in the workshop to further my engineering skills.
What do you like to do to relax?
I love working on my rally car and road cars between events. When time allows I also like hanging out with my mates and having a laugh.
Thanks for taking the time out to speak to me Sloan (and Tarryn). I know motor sport has been a little disappointing for you recently, but hopefully better times are just around the corner!
Look forward to seeing Cox Motorsport at an event soon.
Photos and videos belowFirst year with the Mitsubishi Evo X
Rally Hawkes Bay 2013 SS1
Rally Otago 2011
Sloan won the record for this event