Guest blog by Thiemo Albers-Daly
Gea Daldini is a Swiss Rally Co-Driver who’s had motorsport in her blood ever since she was a child. As is the case with many racing drivers, motorsport runs in the family for Gea and that’s how she ended up making her racing debut alongside her brother. Since then, she’s kept competing in various championships such as the Zone Rally Cup. We caught up a little while back to chat about all this and more.
I hope you enjoy our conversation.
What first got you into Motorsport?
I grew up among motors. Since I was a child my parents used to take me to see the rally race in our village and in neighboring towns. A few years later my brother started rally racing and I got even closer in a practical way, thanks also to a close family friend who raced mainly as a co-driver but also as a driver. Thanks to him I was able to learn the basics of the duties of a co-driver and in 2019, I ran my first race with my brother, finishing 8th overall and winning our category.
What attracted you to rallying – and specifically becoming a rally co-driver?
I have never experienced the emotions from the left side of the cockpit, but watching the work done by the co-pilots, with the situation always under precise control, has always fascinated me.
I love every aspect of my role, from preparing in a precise and orderly manner for the race to those few minutes when you tighten your belts and are ready to go…an inexplicable excitement and adrenaline rush.
Is there something about being a rally co-driver that people don’t know that you wish they did?
In the eyes of enthusiasts and those who have never experienced running in a rally race, the navigator is often underestimated and there is the idea that he or she is simply alongside without having specific duties.
When a crew gets into the car, the three elements, the driver, co-driver and car, become one. The importance of each element is crucial to the success of the race. Behind the calmness of the co-pilot there are so many calculations, strategies and organization that people don’t see… before, during and after the race.
Do you have a favourite racing moment so far or a favourite rally that you’ve been in?
In the last two years especially, I have had the opportunity to participate in races of various championships, achieving good experiences that have helped me grow athletically and also daily, with some class wins.
There have been races that I have loved more and others less, but there is no race that I did not enjoy, each one left a mark on me.
How did 2022 go for you?
My 2022 sports season was full of experience participating in national single races and two separate championships: The Zone Rally Cup, which brought us within a whisker of winning the s1600 class and winning the Michelin Trophy, and the International Rally Cup.
They were different races from each other, with different mindsets needed to deal with the championships than individual races.
I can say that I had fun, grew sportingly and was satisfied with the work done with each of my drivers, whom I always want to thank, especially those who gave me the opportunity to work alongside them in championships.
Do you have any racing plans for 2023?
This year I will definitely be very busy with my current job, so I probably won’t have the chance to run as much as in past years. We definitely plan to participate again this year in the Zone Rally Championship in Italy and in a Championship in another country, where we are still defining the possibility of our appearances.
There will probably be other non-titled competitions in which we will participate, but we will decide during the sports season according to economic possibilities and sponsors interested in supporting us.
Which country would you love to race in in the future and which rally would you love to try?
In 2021 I had the opportunity to participate in a race in France, the Rally Mont Blanc in Morzine, where I was fascinated by their types of special stages and mentality as well as the organization of the race itself. So I would like to race in France again too.
One race I would definitely like to run someday is the RIV, Rallye International du Valais in Switzerland.
You’re also a Graphic Designer and Photographer when you’re not racing – tell us about this and why you wanted to do it.
My educational background at the work level is related to image advertising. I studied graphic design and photography, the latter of which I have always pursued on my own in my spare time during motor races especially, as well as at events and concerts. This is because I have been fascinated by how much the power of a studied image can lead to nonverbal communication, using photography in all its nuances and graphic elements. Lately I have not had much time to devote to this passion, but as soon as I have a chance I will resume.
Would you rather be forced to sing along or dance along to every song you heard?
Dancing has never been a strong suit of mine-I’m just not capable, so I’d rather sing every song I hear, or better yet, play it with my drums!
Would you rather have a personal maid or a personal chef?
If I have to choose, I would rather have a personal chef. I don’t like the idea of having one person at my disposal. I enjoy cooking, so I might try to learn new recipes from a professional!
Thanks again to Gea for taking the time to chat and best of luck for 2023!
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