Canberra’s Adrian Coppin will drive a Ford Fiesta for the first time when he contests Rally Australia in early September.

The talented young rally driver will sample his new mount for the first time during a test, three weeks before the high speed forest race takes place in Coffs Harbour from September 8 to 11.

Coppin will be accompanied by experienced co-driver and fellow Canberran, Tim Batten.  Batten has competed at the WRC level and has worked for several international rally teams, including Mitsubishi Ralliart.

Coppin received the invitation to drive the Fiesta about four weeks ago from an as yet unnamed team.

“While I’m not able to announce the new team or its sponsors, as they will be making their own announcement in a few weeks, the sponsor will be a well known Australian brand.  We are very close to closing the deal,” Coppin said.

Coppin, 25, emerged as a potential talent during his first rally season last year by finishing second outright in the 2010 NSW Excel rally series, third outright in the 2010 ACT Clubman rally series and taking the 2010 ACT Rally series encouragement award.

The Ford Fiesta has been built by M-Sport at the home of Ford’s WRC team in Cumbria, England.  M-Sport has been Ford's partner in the WRC since 1997 and developed the record-breaking Ford Focus RS WRC that won the World Rally Championship Manufacturers' title for Ford in both 2006 and 2007 as well as the current Ford Fiesta WRC.

The car is currently on its way to Australia and is expected to arrive in early August.  The preparation will be undertaken by his current support team at Belconnen’s Total Traction Services.

“Competing in a World Championship event is like being selected to represent your country in the Olympics, so I’m a bit nervous, but having my regular crew will help me stay focussed so I enjoy the experience and continue to learn,” Coppin added.

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