Richo Healey is making his first steps into rallying this year after learning how to drive at DirtFish Rally School.
Here’s his account of his second ever rally, the Ojibwe Forests Rally, with DirtFish instructor Michelle Miller as his co-driver:
My second drive in a rally car was an absolute blast, taking on the twisty roads of the Ojibwe Forests Rally in Minnesota. Assisted by Michelle Miller, sitting beside me in River City Rally’s Lexus IS250, nicknamed ‘Dolly’, we managed to take home the win in Regional Limited 2WD!
This was my first rally making my own notes from scratch, with some help from Rhi and Alex Gelsomino from OZ Rally Pro who hosted a private training for Michelle and I earlier in the year. We spent so much time on the notes and it was absolutely worth it.
I think we did video on the last stage like five times in the end, but getting in the groove, hearing the notes right as I needed to and seeing things come around the corners exactly as described is such an incredible feeling. Recce day was long but the challenge of figuring out the puzzle of how to describe some of the complex turns is exhilarating, and I cherished the small joys like writing a stage description. Every time Michelle read “roads are narrow, car is long” it instantly lightened the mood and helped get my head in the game.
The car runs like an absolute champ, with more than enough go to keep me on my toes as a new driver and being plenty tough enough to soak up a couple of little whoopsies out on stage. The Minnesotan roads are tight and windy, with a lot of surface changes from one turn to the next, and a great deal more sand than we saw on recce that really pushed us to roll with the punches.
Michelle only gave me one word – adapt – as I came fishtailing through the first handful of turns on our second loop before she got back to the notes and it was exactly what I needed to hear. I’m super proud of our success at Ojibwe, but it didn’t take long to turn our minds to the ways we want to improve for the next race.
Next up we’re heading to Boone Forest Rally this weekend and then LSPR to wrap up what has turned into much more of a season than I planned at the beginning of the year!