Meet the Drivers: Greg Healey
For the first time in nearly three years, the Rally America National Championship welcomed Greg Healey back to one of its events in May when he brought the Sidewaz Rally Datsun 280z out to the second annual Southern Ohio Forest Rally. Healey’s vintage ride, one of the most unique cars on the entry list and a frequently active competitor across North America, led him to regional podiums on both days of the event in Group 5 competition, and an overall top 10 in 2WD.
Those impressed with the New York native’s choice of vehicle can see them again in Rally America later this month at Rally Colorado. Those who want to learn more about Healey, and his three decades of experience in stage rally, can do so right here:
What made you want to start rallying?
I read about the sport in the early 1980s in Autoweek, back when it was still the newspaper format, and I thought it was a pretty cool adventure.
When was your first event and how did you do?
My first event was in 1987, at a small event in Pennsylvania. I can't recall how we finished. My first Rally America event was at the 2005 Maine Forest Rally (now NEFR) in the Z's debut event, and we won our class, though we had a bunch of teething problems.
When was your first really memorable result—win or podium—and how did you get there?
I've never had an event win, but I've been lucky enough to have a couple top threes in regional events, as well as many class wins. I'll have to say, though, that finishing fifth three years in a row in the Max Attack Challenge at NEFR was very memorable. There was some great competition at those events.
Who is your usual co-driver, and when did you two start rallying together?
Phil Barnes, and we started a few years ago at Sandblast.
What’s your favorite event on the Rally America schedule?
Well, Southern Ohio was a great weekend. I hadn't run there since the mid-1990s and the roads are still very challenging, and the organization was great, too. We haven't completed any other RA events in a while, so we're looking forward to Colorado.
Do you have any pre-event routines?
Not really. I try to keep up with my running and get enough sleep.
Which other drivers in your class do you respect the most?
Wow, there are so many great drivers in 2WD. We had a great battle at Ohio with Keanna Erickson-Chang and Alex Gelsomino, and they came out on top, so we're hoping for a different result at Colorado.