How rallying helped a young driver to the pinnacle of Australian motor racing.

From Hyundai Excel to V8 Supercars

Alex Rullo has been squarely in the limelight for the last couple of years and rightly so. At the ripe old age of just 16, he is the youngest ever driver to contest the Virgin Australia Supercar Championship.  This year he will be part of the revered Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport team, racing against the best in the business.

Way Back when

We met Alex back in 2014 as a teenager in high school. He had a passion for motorsport that he shared with his father Peter. Alex had already been on four wheels in the form of Go-karts and was an accomplished racer. He had never been behind the wheel of a car though.

All that changed on a warm autumn Saturday when we brought out a green Hyundai Excel Autocross car. The Excel may have been basic, however it was perfect to learn to drive. With plenty of wide open space and long dirt tracks at our venue, Alex soon got to grips with the car and started going quickly. Mike Nairn from Performance Race Gear was Alex’s first driving instructor and he spent many a weekend at our venue sharpening Alex’s skills. To keep the older kids (aka Dads) entertained, we took them out in our rally cars for some fun during the lessons. By the end of that first day all had a new appreciation for driving on dirt, a much trickier business than tarmac.

Gaining momentum

It wasn’t long before loose surface driving was added to Alex’s list of skills to master. Many of us felt that some rally driving experience would certainly help out on the tarmac. During that year Alex raced in the WA Excel series on the black top and spent plenty of time on the dirt as well. Whether it was a race or rally car, the year 9 student was charging hard. By the end of 2014, he’d lifted the Excel racing series title.


In 2015 Alex was ready to handle V8 race cars. He saddled up for the Kumho V8 Touring car series, a feeder for higher level events. Soon enough he showed his speed winning at Winton raceway and again in Queensland. He set the bar as the youngest driver to ever win a national circuit race at 14yrs years old. The two wins placed Alex second in the series and he also garnered rookie of the year.


The Perth teen’s talents didn’t go un-noticed during 2015. Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport signed Alex and he stepped up to the Dunlop Series for 2016. It was a big year of learning both in the car and the classroom. After all, Alex was still in year 11 and had school to think about as well! During the season he proved his approach and racing was mature far beyond his age. Unfortunately bad luck with mechanical troubles hampered some very encouraging performances.

Now on the cusp of the 2017 season, we’re all following Alex’s amazing journey. From Hyundai Excel to V8 Supercars, it’s an inspiring tale….


For those of you wondering what happened to Alex’s early machines, the story continues. Both the Excel Autocross car and Excel rally car are in the hands of new owners and regularly compete.

Karl Drummond


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