If you’re home by 6pm tonight check out TV3 news to see the video footage of Alex Kelsey’s home-built rally car in action.
It’s taken two years of intense work, but Kelsey has now unveiled his one-of-a-kind, home-built rally car at his home workshop in Coromandel.
With a French-made, naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V6 engine, the car has been dubbed the ‘Mad Creation 2’ (MC2).
Kelsey reckons all the hours and hours of effort put into building the ‘mental in nature’ vehicle has all been worth it.
“This car has been such a huge part of my life for so long, so to finally have it finished is just beyond words. All I was thinking when I first drove it was, ‘yahoo! It works!’ but I always knew it was going to work; it was just a matter of when it was going to happen really,” Kelsey says.
The car occasionally travelled from Kelsey’s home workshop in Coromandel to external workshops to make sure the strict Government and motor sport regulations were met. Having the rally car built at home makes it different to the rest of the rally cars out there, according to the team. It was the team’s goal to make it something special and unique. With the help of Kelsey’s friends including Dan Slater’s fabrication work, and Bryan Hayton, they’ve definitely created something special.
“We’ve had so many doubters with this project but we’ve finally done it. I guess people simply don’t understand the project; it didn’t roll off the assembly line as a car to drive down the motorway only to be modified to compete in rallies. From the start, this car was purpose built and designed by me specifically for rally events.”
Everything has been specially designed to fit into the completely custom car and Kelsey says all of the varying components on the MC2 have a unique story, particularly because of the extensive amount of research involved in the process.
“Every single part on this car has such a massive process behind it. I’ve discussed every component with experts from around the world and we’ve made it work. For example, the engine came from France, while the wheels came from Ford World Rally Team because they were about to become obsolete.
“Then there are the brakes; they were initially designed for Subaru World Rally Team, but because they pulled out of the championship, no one had any use for them. That meant I was able to design the hub myself specifically for those brakes. So every part on this car has been used because of its ‘bang-for-ya-buck’ quality, meaning costs have been cut right down.”
With Rally New Zealand organizers confirming a rally event in the Coromandel region to be held in August, Kelsey says the local support of both his MC2 project, and the upcoming Coromandel rally has been incredible.
“The people around Coromandel have been absolutely amazing. When I drove the car for the first time on the road, people specifically came to see what the noise was all about. And whenever I go to town now, people always ask me where the best spots to watch the rally will be and stuff like that. I can’t wait to show people here what the MC2 can do on a closed road,” explained Kelsey.
“I also wanted this car to be a car that people wanted to get out of bed in the morning to watch which I think I’ve done. But to do that I knew it would have to sound unreal and be cool to look at, so that’s always what I’ve set out to do. At the end of the day, we’re in the game of entertainment, and without that entertainment, you don’t have fans, which means you wouldn’t get sponsors due to lack of exposure and that ultimately means no sport.”
Alex Kelsey’s 2014 Rally Xtreme Calendar
Round 1: 1 June, Rally Hawkes Bay, Hawkes Bay
Round 2: 28 June, Racetech Rally Wairarapa, Masterton
Round 3: 12 July, Taranaki Tarmac Rally, New Plymouth
Round 4: 23 August, Rally New Zealand, Coromandel
Round 5: 11 October, Rally of the North, Paihia
If you’re already itching to get your hands on the next issue, then prepare to itch more considering we’ll have a bit more to tell you about Kelsey’s car in issue 211.