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Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally – October 12 to 14

WA’s Nicholas Box will head into round five of the 2012 Bosch Australian Rally Championship, the Snake Racing Coffs Coast Forest Rally, with renewed confidence next weekend.

Box and co-driver Ash Ridden, competing in their striking zebra-striped Mitsubishi Evo IX backed by the Hippo Creek restaurants,  make up the only WA team in the event which is reminiscent of last year’s Rally Australia course.

Box and Ridden had a stellar finish in round four of the ARC, the Scouts Rally of South Australia in July, where they were second to 4WD championship leader Michael Boaden from New South Wales, also in a Mitsubishi Evo IX.

It was an inspiring finish for the WA pair whose challenges this year have included a bad crash in the Quit Forest Rally in WA’s south-west and a ‘did not finish’ in the International Rally of Queensland.

Box said his confidence was back and he was excited about taking on the fast Coffs Harbour roads for the first time.

“I’ve heard the roads are like a mixture between Queensland’s and South Australia’s,” he said adding that he hoped they were more like the latter and similar to WA’s geography.

Box expected Boaden would be fast in the Snake Racing Coffs Coast Forest Rally because it was his home event, but he also anticipated some caution from the trailblazer.

“He doesn’t have any reason to go too hard. He’ll probably want to finish comfortably to seal the championship,” Box said.

Boaden has 307 points on the ARC leader board and a 62 point margin over WA’s Tom Wilde (who’s not entered in the event). Box is third on 177 points and with good results in the final two rounds could finish second in the championship.

The Snake Racing Coffs Coast Forest Rally will be one of Box’s last events in a Mitsubishi with news he’ll next year be part of an Allstar Garage and DWRacing two-car team. He and Danny Williamson will drive brand new Nissan 370Zs.

While Box and Ridden are the only WA team competing in Coffs Harbour, another WA competitor will take his place in the co-driver’s seat.

Ben Searcy, who drove in the Quit Targa West in August and who has been co-driver for John O’Dowd in several WA rally events, will call the instructions for the four-time 2WD champion Simon Evans from Victoria in a Mazda 2.  He replaces Sue Evans who is busy with work commitments.

Almost 70 cars will start the Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally including Side by Side all-terrain vehicles, Classics and the NSW State Championsip competitors.

The rally commences with a ceremonial start on Friday afternoon in the Harbour Drive Mall in the centre of Coffs Harbour. Full rally action gets underway on Saturday morning and finishes with a podium presentation at 4.10pm on Sunday.

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