Rullo looking to put best foot forward in 2024

West Australian Alex Rullo is hopeful the experience gained in last year’s Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) campaign will help him challenge for outright podiums in 2024.

In what was his first full season in the ARC, Rullo guided the IntelliSpatial Fleetcare Racing Hyundai i20 Rally2 car to 12th overall alongside decorated co-driver, Steve Glenney.

Starting off with a promising eighth in Tasmania, Rullo then went through a rough period, which included DNFs at the Make Smoking History Forest Rally and The Middle of Everywhere Gippsland Rally, while limping home in 16th at Accent Benchtops Rally Queensland.

Following on from his Gippsland Rally DNF, the first-year driver then produced his best result of the year in South Australia, scoring fourth overall, before wrapping up the year with a 11th place finish in Canberra.

And it was those two final rounds that gave Rullo the confidence that he was heading in the right direction, with a string of third places in Canberra some of the highlights of his year.

“I think last year was interesting as it was our first full year of rallying and stepping into a Rally2 car was a big leap. It was a new car to Australia, so learning how the car worked was the biggest challenge,” Rullo said.

Rullo and Glenney’s best result in 2023 was in South Australia.
Photo: Oz Sport Photography

“With that said, we noticed plenty of improvements as the year went on, with the biggest being my driving in general. That came down to understanding the setup of the car and the notes, which started to click more and more.

“Steve was instrumental in my development last year, and my relationship with both him and the car has improved dramatically. From what we saw last year, I know it’s just a matter of time before I start getting really good results.

“Yes, we had a couple of offs and crashes, but they weren’t major. They were more silly mistakes that we learned from. I wasn’t concerned with not finishing events either. It was more about the speed and potential of the car.

“On the last day of the season, we were third on almost every stage by a few seconds, which is a good effort considering the two fastest cars were Harry and Lewis Bates battling for the title.

“Both my own understanding and the team’s understanding of the car are completely different from what we had heading into round one last year, and I am confident we can build on a positive end to the year.”

Fortunately for Rullo, the 2024 season begins at the same event where he enjoyed a strong finish to the year with Techworkz Automotive Rally of Canberra.

And with outright stage wins and podiums a major goal for Rullo this year, the 23-year-old was confident that a good result in Canberra was imminent.

Rullo in action during last year’s Rally of Canberra.
Photo: Gears and Wheels Photography

“I’m looking forward to going back to Canberra this year. The stages will be familiar. We’re already going over notes and footage. I’m looking forward to the challenge. Hopefully, I’ll be the underdog,” Rullo explained.

“I felt like we proved ourselves a little bit last year and I think achieving third overall is something we can do. We’ve had some stage wins ourselves and there are some stages that suit my style.

“I’m hoping it all comes together and clicks like it did before. The notes have been good and I’m going to lean more into them, take more calculated risks and push more in the areas we know we can.

“There’s no reason why our immediate goal can’t be to get a podium. That’s the confidence I have in the team and myself. We have some upgrades coming which will be good.

“Obviously, we have the likes of Scott Pedder coming back in and the Maguire brothers, so it will be hard, but I truly believe we are capable of reaching top spot and stage wins throughout the year.”

Entries for Techworkz Automotive Rally of Canberra are still being accepted via the Motorsport Australia Member Portal, with interested crews having until 11:59pm AEDT on Friday 22 March to enter.

The opening round of the 2024 Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship, Techworkz Automotive Rally of Canberra, takes place in and around the forests of Canberra on 5-7 April.

Feature Photo: DMAC Photography