Coffs Harbour’s Australian Rally Champion is back in New Zealand this weekend contesting round five of the New Zealand Rally Championship. In a striking resemblance to the ARC battle last year, Quinn and co-driver, Dave Calder, currently sit fourth in the national series on points, but corrected after every competitor drops their worst round, the pair sit third behind WRC driver Hayden Paddon and former NZ champ Ben Hunt. As the penultimate round, the duo need a good run this weekend and aim to overhaul Hunt to effectively sit behind Paddon.
“Nobody is going to beat Hayden, and Hunt is a star act as well,” Quinn said.
“I guess anything is possible mathematically as the final round is compulsory, but he (Paddon) is in top form in a comfortable car on roads he knows. Oh, and did I mention he is world class? “The best we can hope for is runner-up to him, which is our reason for being there. Overhauling Ben Hunt won’t be easy either, and we will need some luck to go our way.” The ARC champ has his work cut out again with the rally being held in the Coromandel Peninsula area east of Auckland, again a new event for him. This time driving an AP4 Proto class Peugeot 208, it will be his fourth different car in as many new events, impressing his closest rivals. Quinn says that although it’s hard going up against seasoned competitors that are familiar with the events, the roads and their own cars, he is quick to note that rallying was never meant to be easy. “It’s been an interesting venture to NZ,” Quinn said.
“In the first round we drove an FIA WRC2 Fiesta, then we drove Richie Dalton’s Proto Fiesta, and then we drove an Evolution 8 Lancer.
“Now we will drive this Peugeot thanks to great support from the owner, Patrick Malley. The Kiwis have been really supportive of us down there and are helping any way they can to keep us competing. “If Patrick hadn’t come along with a package, we wouldn’t be going.”
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