Competitor of the Year back for 2012
- 31st January 2012, 5:01pm
Simon was voted Competitor of the Year (Driver) by his peers in 2011 and along with Matt Lee (Activ RallySport), Margot shared the co-drivers’ title.
Their major sponsor, Otech Lubricants, has also confirmed they are backing the team for all the eastern events. Peter McKee, the company’s Business Development Manager, believes “the company benefits from their involvement in higher profile motor sports”.
Peter also confirmed that “although they assist a number of speedway and even drag cars, the demands on rally vehicles, their engines and crews is so diverse. This is not only due to the varying climatic conditions, it is also because of the ever changing courses, terrain and the length of some of the events”.
Otech Lubricants is committed to producing quality engine, gear, hydraulic and industrial oils and lubricants and Peter hopes “the new Mitsubishi will see both KMS Rally and Otech on the podium in 2012”.
The new Mitsubishi EVO IX for Simon this year is an ex-Ross Dunkerton tarmac car converted to gravel spec by Queenslander John Spencer. The team trialled the car at the last round of the ARC in Victoria in 2011, but a dirt bank prematurely ended their weekend.
Aided by Torque Panel and Paint at Brendale, the car is back to pristine condition and in the workshop of KMS Rally for the finishing touches to prepare for the 2012 season.
Simon is extremely happy with the choice to go back to a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO, having rallied an EVO VI successfully for a number of years – “The IX is a big leap forward from the old VI we rallied a few years ago, but I really loved driving that car and the short time I spent in the IX in Victoria confirmed it was right way to go.”
Simon had been rallying a Neal Bates built Corolla Sportivo Group N (Prototype) until purchasing the EVO IX from John Spencer. “We have plans to do more international events and the EVO IX allows us to do that. The Corolla has been a great stepping stone and the support provide from Neal was exceptional.”
Simon is well supported with a great service crew and support network that allows him time get to know the new car – Matt Whalley leads the team and spends long hours preparing for each event, as well as keeping the team going during each round. Matt will be supported this year by fellow Queenslander and long time rally driver Jeff Kilbride, who is hoping to get to as many rounds as possible.
The team is aiming for first outright Premier League, International Cup and podium in the 4WD category of the ARC.
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