Factory driver, event manager, team manager, this guy has almost done it all. Adrian Coppin, the man behind Innate Motorsports and Events, speaks of his involvement with Citroen and Ford in their time in the 2WD ARC, as well as his continued work and support around the WRC event in Coffs Harbour.
Check out our ‘5 minutes with’ Adrian Coppin for the full details.
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Name: Adrian Coppin
Role: Driver, Event Organiser/Manager
How did you get into rallying?
I grew up with my Dad competing as a co-driver and event organiser, and my Mum as an official, so I was hooked from an early age.
What is your favourite rally moment you’ve experienced?
I competed in WRC Rally Germany in 2015, which was an experience like no other.
What is your favourite rally?
That’s tricky; I really love the Forest Rally, as the roads are really enjoyable to drive on, but naturally, I have a soft spot for the Netier National Capital Rally, for obvious reasons.
Coppin driving a Citroen DS3 in a round of the Australian Rally Championship.
Who is your favourite driver?
I’ve really come to like Seb Ogier. At first, I didn’t like him, but since he went to M-Sport I think we have all seen a different side to him. His ability to step it up a notch when needed is incredible, plus he is really nice guy.
If you were not a rally driver, what would you be doing?
Life before rallying saw me as a landscaper. I ran my own landscaping business in Canberra, before I got involved with Ford and Citroen. At that point, I decided to take a risk and see if I could make a career out of the sport I love so much.
What is your go to snack food?
Hot chips and chocolate, if they are considered snack foods (ha ha)
You’ve had a lot to do with organising rallies, notably being involved with the National Capital Rally, as well as the WRC round in Coffs Harbour. What did your duties entail?
In 2013, I was President of the Brindabella Motorsport Club and took it to the committee to bring the ARC back to Canberra, albeit without major government support.
Then, in 2017, when the APRC needed a new home quickly, I was involved in pulling that event together in three months, along with a bunch of keen and eager volunteers.
Over the recent years, I have worked with the BMSC to secure commercial support from the ACT Government and local partners such as Netier.
For Kennards Hire Rally Australia, we at Innate Motorsport & Events have had several roles over the years, from Commercial Management to Corporate Hospitality, and then the last couple of years Operations.
I’m Operations Manager for the whole event, co-ordinating and building everything you see when you come from the Service Park, SSS, Media Centre, HQ, and everything in between.
Coppin did several events last year in a Skoda Fabia R5. Photo: Luke Whitten
Your company, Innate Motorsport and Events, provides opportunities for other businesses to experience rallying via corporate ride days. How does this go down with your attendees, and are they blown away by the experience?
It’s so much fun to take the sport I love so much to the general public, seeing the expression on their face after the ride is always priceless.
We have the ability to run corporate ride days all over the country now and I find it’s a great way for people to experience the sport first hand.
You spent time managing factory teams for Citroen and Ford. What duties did you have as team manager?
In 2013 the ARC was a 2WD formula and I took the gamble to purchase a Ford Fiesta R2. My Dad, and long-time supporter of mine, Peter Taylor, had set themselves up to be the M-Sport reseller in Australia.
That opened some doors with Ford Australia, and we were able to get support from them for the season. It very quickly turned into being bigger than I thought, and that’s where Innate started.
We ended up with our own workshop in Canberra, a full time mechanic who was ex M-Sport, and we then ran Elfyn Evans and Molly Taylor that year.
2014 saw a switch to Citroen, and even more pressure with media and sponsor commitments in and around running our half of the team. There were a few trips to Europe and lots of pressure being the team “boss” and driver.
A Peugeot AP4 has been purchased for Coppin's business, Innate Motorsports & Events.
At your most recent event, in Canberra, you had TV personality, Kate Peck, in the navigator’s seat. What is it like, putting trust in someone whose never navigated before, and trusting her calls of “flat over blind crest” and the like?
It was great, and without doubt the funniest time I’ve had in a rally car for a long time.
There was no pressure, no expectations, just fun. It all came about after we did a PR story with RPM and Kate, about Rally Australia in October last year. A few emails and phone calls later, it was locked in.
I think it was great to again take rallying to the broader motorsport community. We obviously eased on the side of caution with a lot of it, given Kate was so new to it, but toward the last couple of stages she really started to get the hang of it.
Lastly, your recent purchase of a Peugeot AP4 car caught a lot of the rally community by surprise. Is it likely to feature at regular ARC rounds, or is it strictly for ‘business’ use?
It’s hard to say at the moment. I would love to do a full ARC program again, but with my involvement with Rally Australia particularly, that makes it hard to chase the championship.
That said, never say never, and I’m sure you will see me in it at an ARC round soon.
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