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Michael Boaden, the last four-wheel drive Champion of the Australian Rally Championship, has admitted that he’s sweating on the delivery of his brand new car in time for the opening Round of the 2013 Championship.

Following the announcement at the end of last year that he would be forming a new two-car team with 2011 Australian Rally Champion Justin Dowel, Boaden has been awaiting shipping confirmation of his Volkswagen Polo from South Africa.

Speaking from his home on the mid-North Coast of New South Wales, Boaden confessed that delays in the shipping, with the car originally due to depart for Australia prior to Christmas, has left him nervous ahead of the upcoming season.

“At this stage the car has only just left and isn’t due to arrive until the week before Canberra,” Michael confirmed.

“I can’t adequately explain to you the stress, not just on waiting for the car to arrive, but the whole prospect of having to learn a new car and a completely new way to drive.”

“It’s a big concern for me arriving at the first event and having to learn the car from the first stage,” continued Boaden. “I know the car is capable, I just need to learn to get my head around only having two wheels pulling me through corners rather than four wheels shoving me through the corners!”

Having spent the vast bulk of his rally career in turbo-charged Mitsubishi Lancer’s, the 2012 Champion said he’d considered looking at local front-wheel drive rally cars to give him some testing time, but opted against it at the last minute.

“I definitely thought a lot about it,” he said. “In the end unless you can replicate exactly what you’ll be driving for the rest of the year it didn’t seem like an option worth chasing.”

“Otherwise I might have been learning bad habits in a different car that would have put me worse off when I finally get into the Polo in Canberra.”

Despite the adverse situation Boaden is remaining optimistic and keeping his expectations at reasonable levels.

“I know we aren’t going to be on the pace of the Honda’s or the Mazda. My aim, at least for the first Round, is to drive sensible and smart. I know how good the car will be, and I think if it’s setup right, I’ll be able to put in a reasonable performance even if I am learning every stage kilometre I drive!” Boaden laughed.

“In the past we’ve always just arrived at events and relied on our experience (in the Mitsubishi Evo). Now I think I’m going to have to look at doing pre-event testing to build that experience up, to learn the car and to fine tune my mind.”

“But I think there will be a few others in the same boat, who have come out of four-wheel drives into new cars, so if I drive neat and tidy then I’m sure we can get some good results,” added Boaden.
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