January 31, 2017
TRANS-TASMAN TEAM TO CONTEST U.S. RALLY SEASON
Two of the biggest motorsport dynasties from "down under" have joined forces in a Toyota Rally RAV4 to contest the newly formed American Rally Association series this year.
Ryan Millen - son of New Zealander and Pike's Peak legend Rod Millen - will resume driving duties at the wheel of the Rally RAV4, a 2WD Toyota with a stock powertrain and six-speed automatic transmission.
His new navigator is Rhianon Gelsomino, a member of the rally-focused Reeves family from Australia. Her brother Brendan Reeves has a wealth of international rally experience and father Mike is a two-time Victorian rally champion.
Millen and Gelsomino, who are both based in the United States, will kick off the season this weekend at the Rally Perce Neige in Canada, a rugged event with 230 stage kilometres of gravel roads covered in snow and ice.
Gelsomino comes with more than a decade of experience working with motorsport teams and drivers around the world.
"I am really looking forward to working with Ryan and Toyota USA this season," Gelsomino said.
"Ryan and I competed together last season in a one-off test event in NASA which I am happy to say we won," Gelsomino said.
"We worked really well as a team and it was great to see his abilities behind the wheel of the RAV4. I can't wait to get the season started and see what's possible."
Millen said he hoped competing for a second year at many of the rallies would provide a competitive advantage in 2017.
"Last year was amazing, but you have to look forward, and I think we're in a great position to show once again what the Rally RAV4 is made of," Millen said.
Last season, Millen and the Rally RAV4 team won top honours, capturing the NASA Rally Sport national championship for the second year in a row.
All up, the team competed in 12 races and two series, collecting multiple class wins, an overall podium, a rookie of the year title and second place in the Rally America 2WD Championship.