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Since the start of the season Michael Boaden has been rallying with one thought in mind – ‘Don’t bend the car!’

It’s a long story, but Boaden has been driving a rental car during the opening three Rounds of the East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship. Not quite the type of rental car you might borrow from Avis or Hertz, but rather a Volkswagen Polo rally car borrowed from Justin Dowel.

“When we made the decision to go with one of the VW Polo’s, we went to Justin and he made the arrangements to get one from South Africa. What should have been an easy process of taking delivery of our car at the start of the year for Canberra has turned into a bit of a waiting game for the car to arrive in Australia,” Michael explained.

“So for the past three rallies I’ve been learning the car, getting used to front-wheel drive, but always in the back of my mind I’ve been telling myself ‘don’t bend the car!’ because the VW we’ve been driving is Justin’s car.”

Dowel, who had debuted the VW Polo at the 2012 season ending Rally Victoria, wanted to give Boaden every opportunity to retain his Championship title and so with Boaden’s own VW still undelivered he decided to lend his own rally car.

“I’m hugely grateful to Justin, he could have kept the VW for himself but he was generous and he wanted to give us the best opportunity to compete so he lent us his car,” Boaden said.

But at the recent Scouts Rally SA Boaden confirmed that the long awaited day when his car had arrived in Australia and was ready for pick up had arrived.

“We drove straight from the finish in SA to Melbourne to get the car from the dock. So now things are different, we have our own car, and now I can start pushing the limit a lot harder and seeing exactly what this thing can do!”

“Our plan is to get the car back to home, really learn everything about it, use the experience we’ve gained from the first three rallies of the year and come out in the second half of the year and really push hard,” Boaden added.

One question mark that hovers over Boaden’s head though is the engine that he will ultimately run in his Polo. Dowel’s loan car ran a Super 1600 power plant, while the visually identical Polo of Mick Patton has a 2-litre engine.

“It’s a problem for us, just trying to work out what’s the best option. In SA it would have been great to have the 2-litre engine for those fast shire roads, but for the rest of the year maybe the Super 1600 engine is the better bet. We’ll have to work that out pretty quickly.”

“All I know is now that we’re playing with our own car it’s going to be a totally different mindset. Being tentative and cautious like I was in Justin’s loan car isn’t good enough anymore, it’s time to have a real crack now!” Boaden exclaimed.
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