Getting involved in rallying is not actually as daunting as it may seem. Just ask Dylan Evans, the 19-year old who competed in his very first rally at the VSport Caves Classic on 30th May. With no prior rally experience, he co-drove for Gwyn Mulholland at the event, and impressed Gwyn with a natural talent and quick thinking. Here’s his story about how he found his way from circuit racing to rallying; and why he won’t be looking back!
RallyNSW – Before competing at the Caves Classic Rally, what was your experience of motorsport?
Dylan - I had been a spectator at motorsport events from a very young age. As soon as I was actually old enough to make a contribution, I jumped at every opportunity, starting out in circuit racing where I made plenty of good friends. This led me to doing mechanical and data work in the V8 Ute Series. I’m currently studying Mechanical Engineering at UWS, which has greatly helped improve my skills. Through this course, I was part of a team that built a Pulsar series car for the UWS Motoring Society Club, run by the University.
RallyNSW - What made you decide that you wanted to get involved in rallying?
Dylan - Rally has always been an aspect of motorsport that appealed to me. Who else doesn’t want to slide sideways from corner to corner, the car under pure control?
RallyNSW – Tell us about the VSport Caves Classic Rally; what was your first day in a rally car like?
Dylan - The VSport Caves Classic Rally was a real eye opener for me. I never realised how supportive a motorsport community could be! My first day was an eventful one to say the least. I must say a huge “thank you” to Gwyn and Helen for taking me on board and giving me the chance to co-drive in their Subaru Leone. From the start, I must admin that I was nervous about what I had gotten myself into. With so much support and good advice given to me by so many people, it ended up being one of the best times of my life.
My co-driving skills were just a little rough on the first stage, although Gwyn still assured me I was doing a good job. Over each additional stage, I was gaining more and more confidence and starting to relax in the car. One really funny thing that I enjoyed was pulling into a time control and being handed lollies by the officials. As you can imagine, you don’t get much time to eat between each stop and it just went to show how welcoming everyone in the sport is.
RallyNSW - How close was the reality of rallying to your expectations?
Dylan - My first rallying experience went above and beyond my expectations. It will be hard to forget! I learned so much in just one day about the sport and picked up so many new skills I never thought I would have. I never expected to find the sport so incredibly fun and welcoming. I was expecting a very serious, highly competitive event; but it was far from it and the people were all very supportive and accepting of a newcomer like myself.
RallyNSW – How did the event come about? Was it easy to find the opportunity to get into rallying?
Dylan - I visited the RallyNSW website, read a few articles, and sent off an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, to ask if there were any opportunities for a novice in the sport. Katie Fletcher replied, and basically organised this amazing opportunity for me. A huge “thank you” to her for pointing me in the right direction and giving me all the support I could need. Within two days, we were able to organise a CAMS licence, club membership, and a helmet I could borrow for the day. It really was as easy as sending off an email and before I knew it, I was competing at a rally!
RallyNSW – What would be your advice to anyone else out there who is interested in starting out in rallying?
Dylan - My advice to anyone wanting to get involved in Rally is to just apply yourself. Get in contact with RallyNSW or a car club, ask for the opportunity and be prepared to turn up to an event at short notice! You’ll never know where you’re and up. It’s a great sport, and it will have you hooked in seconds.
RallyNSW – What’s next for you? Another rally?
Dylan - After the great experience I had at the VSport Caves Classic Rally, I can’t help but say I want to do it again. Hopefully if all goes to plan, I’ll be out participating in another rally in the very near future. Hopefully I can find another driver to take me on board! Thank you again to all who helped to make this possible for me, including Gwyn for taking me for the ride of a lifetime, and Katie for pointing me in the right direction!