CITROEN TEST READIES COPPIN FOR WRC GERMANY

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CITROEN TEST READIES COPPIN FOR WRC GERMANY

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PHOTO: Adrian Coppin’s Citroen DS3 will feature Coates Hire Rally Australia livery on Rallye Germany this weekend.

AUSTRALIAN driver Adrian Coppin has tested a Citroen DS3 R3 before competing in the WRC Rallye Deutschland, starting tomorrow.

Coppin, with co-driver Dale Moscatt, has entered the WRC3 category in a car run for him by Italian outfit D-Max Racing, the team also responsible for fellow Australian Molly Taylor’s current participation in the Junior WRC.

The Citroen, virtually identical to the Team Citroen Australia car in which he currently stands third in the East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship, will carry special livery featuring Coates Hire Rally Australia, the WRC round after ADAC Rally Deutschland.

The driver from Canberra is using the German event – his first overseas WRC entry – as preparation for Australia, where he and teammate Tony Sullens will run their cars in the WRC and ARC categories.

“We arrived at testing about 40km from Trier in the pouring rain. The stage itself is about 3.4km long and is in the same region where the rally runs through the vineyards and it was everything you imagine watching Rally Germany on TV,” Coppin told rally.com.au.

“The stage had all the usual stuff I’ll encounter this weekend – square junctions, tight hairpins, winding up hill and then really fast across the top, with some big cutting corners – so far it’s been amazing.

“The rain gave me a chance to try a wet (suspension) set-up the team’s engineer suggested and straight away I was surprised by how much grip and traction the car had despite the conditions. By about lunchtime it had started to dry so we changed the setup and the car felt even better again.”

“It was the perfect day, actually, to test both a wet and dry set-up and to have the car feel really good in both – that gives me a lot of confidence ahead of the weekend.

“I also felt a lot more confident giving feedback to the team about the set-up than I did a year ago when I competed in (European championship) Croatia. At that stage I’d not driven the car before or rallied on tarmac, so I had no idea what the setup options were or how they affected the car. This time everything has felt so much more familiar and we’ve been able to make good progress.

“Having Dale (Moscatt) with me in the car too has already been massively beneficial. We’ve really clicked straight away and he’s already showing me ways I can improve on my pace notes.

“Finally the car looks great. The team did a great job to sticker it up with lots of coverage for Rally Australia. It’s been amazing to have their support behind me and to be able to compete in Germany and raise promotion for our own Round of the World Rally Championship in Coffs Harbour next month.”

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Chris Nixon

Chris Nixon is Media Manager for Kennards Hire Rally Australia.