Despite only competing in rallying for two years, Nathan Quinn is a young driver on the rise.  His last outing, the Coffs Coast Rally, round 6 of the Australian Rally Championship, resulted in an outstanding second outright.  We asked Nathan ten questions about his career to date and what the future holds for this young gun.

How would you sum up your year of rallying?

Great, but no where near enough rallying took place. If only I could figure how to rally as much as I work, and of course not work at all!

What improvements have you achieved throughout the year (both to the car and personally)?

There is not a lot you can do to a ten year old EVO 5, but we did make a massive change to the suspension at the end of the year. So much so, it was like jumping out of a sports car into a luxury car, the ride became so smooth. Personally, I have made improvements to fitness and developed a stronger mindset as, obstacles thrown in front of me during the year were, at times, challenging to overcome.

What was your favourite event this year, and why?

Round 6 of the ARC, the Allied Air-conditioning/ Daikin Coffs Coast Rally would have to top the list. It was in our home town so we didn’t have to travel - it was like all my rallying comrades had come for a big sleep over (ha, ha!).  The rally, run by my local car club, was also sponsored by many of my sponsors, extended family businesses, and my mates and fellow locals covered the forests cheering for me. All that was topped by second outright for the weekend. I couldn’t have asked for anything more…well maybe first outright may have been nice!

Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date?

I would firstly say my ‘old man’. His involvement whilst I was a kid definitely spurred a chain reaction of events to follow, much to his loath. There is always a determination to succeed him and go faster than he ever did! Other influences are derived by watching and following the success and drama of Ari Vatenen, Colin McRae, Chris Atkinson and Lewis Hamilton.

What has been your best achievement so far in rallying?

After Coates Rally Queensland 2008 we managed to be ranked 19th on the ARC seeding list. This is amazing as we have only been in the sport for two years, and had only competed in three ARC events at the time.

What’s the hardest thing about rallying?

Many say the money, but that I can handle for the experience. I would say the hardest thing is facing up to your crew when you have a failure, and they of course start hinting at how much work we have ahead of us. They work voluntarily, around the clock, and it is sad to see their hard work be crushed by a no-result finish.

And the best thing?

There are definitely a lot more good things than bad…
Driving flat out, waving and inspiring the spectators and your crew, the relationships you build with other competitors, the competition, and of course winning.

Do you have any funny stories from this year’s events that you can share with us?

There are many funny stories, at least two per rally. One that sticks in the mind was at a shakedown event for us at the start of the year in Queensland. It was the first round of the KCF Short course Rally series, and whilst testing the car, we were also testing a new navigator who will remain un-named.

The event was going quite well, we had a considerable lead heading into the last stage but the navigator was looking quite pale. With 4 km to go, the navigator went very quien, then all I heard in my ears was an awful rumbling noise. As I looked over, I managed to see a nice projectile vomit coming from his mouth, bananas in fact, to which I said, “I’m OK, I’ll just drive”.

The poor navigator sat back for the rest of the stage. At the end of the section he was adamant not to be seen by the finish control officials, let alone my crew. However, much to his embarrassment , it’s not uncommon for our team to absolutely milk the most out of our members’ weaknesses. The navigator heard about it for the whole trip home, six hours, and arrived at the next event un-pleasantly greeted with a graphic of bananas placed on his side rear view mirror!

What are your plans for next year?

You will see us in the ARC for sure, definitely the east coast rounds of the championship. We would also love to get overseas for a rally or two in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship.

How about your plans for 2010 and beyond?

The long term plan is to be a professional rally driver. Whether that is at the pinnacle of the sport, the World Rally Championship, or to compete professionally in foreign national championships like that of America, Middle East and Europe, remains to be seen.


Pic: Redline Photographics

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