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The Ford Innate Motorsport rally team is hoping to return to form at Round 2 of the Australian Rally Championship, the QUIT Forest Rally to be held in Busselton, Western Australia from 5 -7 April.

The team, representing Ford Australia in this year’s Manufacturer title, had a disappointing home round at the National Capital Rally in Canberra in early March.

“It was an incredibly frustrating rally for me!” Coppin said.  “With the car only arriving from the UK two weeks before Canberra, a lot of effort went into getting the Fiesta R2 ready and I was looking forward to the event.  But to have so many problems prevent me from showing how the car or I can perform was gutting.  And I think running two cars in the event put us under some pressure we weren’t prepared for.”

But despite the problems the event wasn’t a total loss and some decent times on Sundays’ stages have given the team hope for the rest of the year.

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“My times on Sunday were pretty good considering that my confidence was down.  I learnt a lot about driving the car and when I relaxed the pace came, so I think that we can look forward to a more competitive run in Western Australia,” Coppin said.

But inexperience at this event will present a challenge for the team, as they have never competed there before and the roads are covered with gravel that resembles ball bearings, making traction a real challenge.

“I am certainly not under estimating the job ahead of me in WA!  It is going to be a steep learning curve but I am up for it.  I am looking forward to a good clean run in the Fiesta and then seeing what the gap is to the more powerful G2 cars.”

Despite their personal ambitions for outright places, the team is remaining focussed on the bigger picture and understand the importance of the Manufacturers title to Ford.

“We’ve got a long term plan to win an Australian title and no one in the team underestimates the importance of cementing our relationship with Ford to achieving that longer term goal,” Coppin said.

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