Cody Crocker is the most successful driver in the history of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship. He has also won the Australian Rally Championship three times.
He started turning heads in the Australian Rally scene in the mid 1990s by winning a junior development title and placing second in the Victorian Rally Championship. By 1998 he'd joined the legendary Possum Bourne as the #2 driver on Subaru Rally Team Australia, a team that would eventually win ten consecutive Australian Rally Championships.
Most recently Cody competed with the MotorImage Racing Team based in Singapore, which focused on the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship Series. Subaru's primary goal for the series was to demonstrate the superiority of its All-Wheel Drive and symmetrical drive train layout. From the deep gravel roads of Whangarei in New Zealand, to the red mud in humid Malaysia, these stages were perfect testing grounds for the speed, strength and durability of a Subaru. And who better to be behind the wheel than Cody Crocker?
Some career highlights...
Asia-Pacific Rally Championship winner, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Australian Rally Championship winner, 2003, 2004, 2005
Cody Crocker Interview
Where is your favourite Australian Rally?
Rally of Melbourne, when it was on the original roads around Healesville. There are some amazing stages and one in particular called Sylvia Creek Rd where we reached a staggering 203km/h on the gravel!
Which international race has been your favourite?
Rally New Zealand, probably the most amazing roads in the World Rally Championship, even better than Sylvia Creek Rd! It's also probably my favourite because we won Group N there back in 2005.
How does rallying in Australia vary from other races around the world?
Rallying in Australia is so diverse because we have such an amazing and large country. We always have something different yet uniquely Australian at each event. In WA there are super slippery ball bearing gravel roads, Queensland has the tropical weather which makes driving a challenge, we race through banana plantations in Coffs Harbour and we've even raced in snow in Victoria and Tasmania. Not many countries can offer all that.
Do you know of any young and upcoming Australian rally drivers?
There are quite a few young drivers who are trying to make their way in rallying, which is not easy to do considering rallying at the top level is extremely difficult and costly. Adam Casmiri is one such driver. He spends a lot of time at Rallyschool as an instructor, so he gets to spend plenty of time in a rally car. Adam won the Australian Junior Rally Challenge in 2012 which goes to show he's got a lot of potential and hopefully we'll see him in a factory team in the not too distant future.
How did you get into racing cars?
I loved racing and rallying when I was little. It's a bit of a cliche story, but driving a rally car was all I wanted to do. My Dad loved it too and together we got a cheap old rally car when I was around 14 years old and we began doing autocross which is pretty much racing in a paddock. This taught me many of the skills to progress in the sport.
Which has been your favourite Subaru rally car and why?
On a sentimental level, the first rally car I drove for Subaru was in 1998 and that one is a favourite for me. Subaru has kept this car as part of their collection so I still get to see it from time to time. It's usually kept at Subaru Docklands and makes special appearances at Subaru functions.
How do you prepare for a race?
It's often very hectic during the lead up to a rally, so I try to ensure that I have a little down time to rest and clear my mind. I spend most of my time checking notes and doing what I call rally homework, which is making sure I'm as prepared as I can be and know everything there is to know about the roads I'll be racing on.
How often do you train?
My training is in two parts; driving and fitness. I try to keep regular bouts in a rally car or something similar, I've been doing quite a few events in my Polaris RZR off road vehicle which is awesome fun and I'm an instructor at some rally schools which doubles as more time in a rally car to keep my eye in.
On the fitness level I do a variety of things, from swimming and kayaking, to running, riding and a bit of gym work. I've learnt over the years that 'match fitness' is by far the best training you can do. For me, nothing beats time in the seat of a rally car.
Where do you train?
The difficulty with rallying is that you can't just tear down any gravel road that you find. Rallyschool and other forms of motorsport such as racing in the Polaris RZR off-roader are the perfect places. I live near a river in Sydney so I spend time in it or on it when I can.
What’s the hardest part of being a professional rally car driver?
Not being rich and only being famous to the limited number of fans who follow rallying! I think the hardest part for me has been that it's pretty hard to find outside work when the rally side of things is quiet.
What’s the highlight of your racing career?
There have been many and I've been fortunate to have won Australian and international championships. My first ARC championship in 2003 is probably the biggest highlight. It was the year Possum passed away tragically and the whole team won it for him.
What advice do you have for people getting into the sport?
Decide on what you want to achieve and aim for that. If you want to be world champion, which takes a lifetime of dedication, then get practising. If you want to have fun, then treat it that way. I've seen so many people come into the sport with unreal expectations only to be devastated because they didn't win and leave. If they had the right expectations, they'd probably still be in the sport having the time of their life.
What are your plans for the near future?
I'm very keen to get back behind the wheel of a rally car in either the ARC or APRC, so I just have to convince Subaru and some sponsors to come with me!
- At age 18, Dean Herridge made a distinct impression on the rally scene by winning the 1994 WA Clubma