Zeal Jones announces assault on NZ Rally Championship

Zeal Jones has announced he will campaign a Skoda Fabia R5 in the 2024 New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) with Waverley Jones sitting in the co-driver’s seat.

Winner of the 2023 Elite Motorsport Academy, as well as representing the Winmax Junior Driver Program, it will be Jones’ second full NZRC season after competing in and winning the 2023 Rally Challenge category.  Driving a 1993 Subaru Impreza, the 19-year-old also finished second in the Junior Championship.

“This season is another year in our chapter where we have big ultimate goals and we’ll follow a methodical plan to complete these for years to come,” commented Jones.  “However, we have other internal goals with the new car to complete rally by rally to work towards winning the Junior Rally Championship and Overall Elite Motorsport Academy. 

“The Skoda is a factory built car so I expect it to be reliable, agile and obviously a lot faster. This car is an old generation model but to me it’s like brand new.

“It is also a bit smaller in size so it will be nimble and fun to drive. We look forward to see how we shape up against the “Top” teams as the youngest competitor in the NZRC in a more competitive car.”

Jones opens his NZRC campaign at the Central Machine Hire Otago Rally, 31 March – 2 April 2024, having also won the Otago Rally Scholarship. The Skoda R5 was previously driven by Zeal’s uncle, Kingsley Jones and originally by Esapekka Lappi.

Benjamin Carrell is a freelance motorsport writer and currently edits talkmotorsport.co.nz. He writes for a number of Kiwi drivers and motorsport clubs. That's when he's not working in his horticultural day-job or training for the next road or mtb cycle race!


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