AFTER capturing the support of Coffs Coast locals two years ago when he finished ninth at Coates Hire Rally Australia in his first WRC drive, Nathan Quinn is ready to go again, although not in his eponymous “Quinny’s Mini”.
The young Coffs Harbour businessman will drive his own Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 in the WRC2 category against some of the sport’s most elite drivers, although it will be run for him again by the Italian squad that provided the Mini World Rally Car in 2013.
Quinn impressed observers in that event with not only his performance but also his enthusiastic Aussie-style media commentaries at every opportunity. He did not contest Rally Australia last year.
“Last year I spent some time showing people around at the rally and at one stage I turned to one of my regular service crew and said that I’d never spectate at Rally Australia ever again,” he told rally.com.au.
“So I knew as far back as last September that I’d definitely be driving again this year. I was actually speaking to the team that we ran the Mini with back in 2013 about the possibility of another World Rally Car for this year.
“Unfortunately we just couldn’t make it happen, but they were keen to support us and we came to a deal where we would run in WRC2 to help them score points to assist their regular driver Max Rendina.
“It’s not a big entry in WRC2 but it is a quality entry. I have two aims, to help the team stay ahead of the Subaru of (Gianluca) Linari and to see if I can match (Australian Champion) Scott Pedder.“Scott’s in a superior machine to us but I reckon there are some stages where I can be just as quick, if not quicker.”
Quinn will be joined by New Zealand co-driver David Calder. The pair competed together in 2012, including at a Round of the Chinese National Championship.“David’s a really great bloke, and a terrific co-driver. It was just a great opportunity to get him over to compete at Rally Australia together,” Quinn said.
He’s hoping local fans will turn out again in big numbers.“Being a local and having that support definitely gives you that extra air of confidence. Plus it helps boost the support for the event.“I know a lot more locals come out when they have that connection with someone who works in town or that they have a beer with down at the pub.”