by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via Jason Swoboda (1); Ben Newburn (2)

Gravel Trap Motorsports’ Honda CR-X may have met an unfortunate end in last month’s Lake Superior Performance Rally, but a roll won’t dampen the spirits of driver Zack Rondeau and co-driver Dan Kelly. In fact, they took the Spirit of the Rally Award in the 2-Wheel Drive Sisu Challenge that ran as part of the event for their perseverance despite multiple incidents. Today, we get to know Zack a little better—stay tuned for Dan’s profile tomorrow:

What made you want to start rallying?

My current co-driver Dan Kelly brought me to a WAG Rallycross in Chilton, Wisconsin about six years ago. I had a blast rallycrossing and decided I needed to buy a stage rally car.

When was your first event and how did you do?

Magnum Opus in 2016 was my first event and we placed 16th overall out of about 30 cars, but 14 cars DNFed. It was an awesome rally and I knew I would be hooked!

When was your first really memorable result—win or podium—and how did you get there?

Magnum Opus was a big accomplishment just to finish because it was my first race and half the field DNFed.

Who is your usual co-driver, and when did you two start rallying together?

My current co-driver is Dan Kelly. Show Me Rally was our first race together, but we've been rallycrossing together for about six years now.

What’s your favorite event on the Rally America schedule?

LSPR! It's close to home and just everything about it is perfect! I've been going to LSPR for five years now. The fall colors, the awesome roads, the big driver turnout.

Do you have any pre-event routines?

Make sure the car is ready and usually watch a few YouTube videos of some of the stages.

Which other drivers in your class do you respect the most?

I'm not really sure.