Canberra’s Adrian Coppin will drive a Ford Fiesta ST homologated to FIA Group N specification in Rally Australia.

The car left Abu Dhabi by sea on July 14 bound for Sydney.  It spent the last two years gathering dust in a workshop in Abu Dhabi after its former owner, the Abu Dhabi Junior Team, upgraded to the newer specification Ford Fiesta R2.

The Fiesta was built in 2006 by David Greer Motorsport in Carryduff, Northern Ireland to full FIA Group N specification.  The car has had a successful career including winning the 2007 Fiesta Sport Trophy and was runner-up in the 2007 Irish Fiesta Sport Trophy.  It was also campaigned by the Abu Dhabi Junior Team in several World Rally Championship events.

The car is being imported by John Mills.  Mills is well known on the Australian rally scene as the Kumho Motorsport Tyre Co-ordinator for the Bosch Australian Rally Championship and is the proprietor of FSPORT, the NSW Kumho Motorsport Tyre dealer.

Mills had been looking for a Fiesta ST earlier this year to bring to Australia to help promote the new Bosch 2WD Australian Rally Championship.

“I received a call one night from Adrian, who I supported in his Hyundai Excel in 2010, telling me he had found a good ST that I might be interested in,” Mills said.  Three months later, the deal is sealed and the car is on its way.

“I invited Adrian to drive the car in Rally Australia because I think he is a young driver with the right skills and attitude.  He worked hard to promote FSport last year with his results and his media skills.  I think he has a bright future in Australian rallying and I’m very happy to have him as my driver,” Mills added.

While Mills isn’t prepared to reveal the team’s sponsors just yet, an announcement is expected soon. “We are very close to closing the deals,” Mills said.

Coppin, 25 emerged as a potential talent during his debut rally season last year when he finished second outright in the 2010 NSW Excel rally series, 3rd outright in the 2010 ACT Clubman rally series and won the 2010 ACT Rally Series encouragement award.

Coppin will drive the LHD vehicle for the first time in a private test session in late August.

“The FSPORT team has a lot to learn, not only because is it a new car, but it’s left hand drive so it’s going to be interesting getting the feel of the car sitting on the wrong side,” Coppin said.

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