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The Canberra based rally team of Adrian Coppin and Tim Batten celebrated the best result of their short rally career, after the finish of the International Rally of Queensland at Imbil, just north of the Sunshine Coast.

Coppin contested the event's feature category, the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (Round 3) and surprised more seasoned and experienced competitors with an extraordinary second outright to Finnish rally ace, Esapekka Lappi.

“I really can’t believe it,” a beaming Coppin said at the finish.

Coppin was driving his Castrol Edge backed Ford Fiesta R2, a specially built left hand drive rally version of the popular Fiesta hatchback sold in the thousands by Ford Australia.

Coppin and co-driver Tim Batten were considered underdogs by many observers, as they would be up against more experienced competitors driving more powerful machinery. But a mature drive meant he [Coppin] rose up through the order by setting consistently competitive times and not taking unnecessary risks. He secured 2nd place on the final stage after Atsushi Masamura ran wide in his Lancer and punctured.

“I entered the APRC round to gain some valuable international experience and to have a clean run. Tim and I competed in this event last year and we knew it is a tough event. After recce we decided maturity and patience would be rewarded and that if we kept our run clean, we would have a good event, but a podium, let alone 2nd outright, wasn’t in my wildest dreams!” Coppin said.

Coppin and his team are headed for a busy time in the run up to the Australian round of the World Rally Championship to be held at Coffs Harbour from 12-15 September.

“The car is packed in the truck and I am heading for Coffs Harbour tomorrow to participate in the launch of Coates Hire Rally Australia on Tuesday. Then, it’s back to the workshop to reprepare this car, and build a new car for my team mate in the WRC round, Molly Taylor. And then we’ll be at the WRC event in 8 weeks,” he added.
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