I’m Alex Kihurani, and I’m the only American born, US rally-bred co-driver to compete in the World Rally and European Rally Championships. After a decade of being preceded, replaced, and substituted for navigators from across the pond, I thought I’d be the first person to try going the opposite direction. I always had the desire to learn what made these co-drivers much better and more desirable than the vast majority of co-drivers back home, and to see if, during that learning process, I would be capable of competing alongside them, on their home ground.
After relocating to the UK in October 2013 to kick-off my experiment, I received the opportunity of a lifetime in 2014 to step up from running various national championships to compete in the European Rally Championship (ERC) as a total amateur in the strictest definition of the term (i.e. I have a normal day job, and I’m on a work visa!). This is my story of trying to do just that, my first serious foray into international rallying covering 6 months of life, rallying, and chaos from Ireland, to the Azores, and through the European mainland of Belgium, Czech Republic, and Switzerland, all alongside my 21 year old British driver, Alex Parpottas.
2014 European Rally Championship Season Highlights
I won’t give up too many details of what happens along the way, or else you won’t read all four parts of my excruciatingly long series, “The European Rally Championship Gets Americanized” referenced above. However, I can guarantee sick helicopter shots of us getting stupid air in Ireland, stories of dealing with helicopters smashing into us in Azores, using old WWI trenches as a tool to complete one perfect flip on the 100 year anniversary of the Great War in western Belgium, jaw-dropping women in Czech Republic, and bottomless pits in the Swiss Alps; not to mention, all sorts of complex, co-driver-ey philosophical ramblings to give all this nonsense the illusion of meaning and depth. Most of all, through all the effort I’ve put into onboards, questionably legal TV-grabs, split screen comparisons, and bad jokes, I hope you can enjoy my experiences this year at least 10% as much as I did. I even put together a roughly edited mash-up of a few of these clips to view above before you commit to all that reading. Happy 2015 everyone!