The Full-On Rallysport team fronted up for the Coffs Coast Forest Rally with a totally new car to the team, an Evo 9 in Group N trim.

The car was delivered only shortly before the rally and the first time team principal Bruce Fullerton drove the car was at testing in the Sherwood Forest on the Monday before the event. The test went well but it still meant the rally would be a case of learn as you go.

The first 2 runs of the super special stage on Thursday night were taken carefully, especially as there had been no time to source a light pod. This however did not deter the service crew of Rob Reddiex and Richard Harris, who set to and removed the small spotlamps from the service truck and managed to mount them on the bonnet of the Evo 9 to provide some assistance.

By the last stage of the event, the 6th run of the super special, the Full-On Rallysport team  completed the 3.77km stage an impressive 22 seconds faster than their first run.

Friday started damp and got wet making challenging conditions which the Fullerton Financial  Services supported team of Bruce Fullerton and Hugh Reardon-Smith adapted to well. The crew certainly noted the difference in getting grip to the road compared to their previously campaigned Evo 6, and made good use of it.

By the end of Friday the team were lying in 10th outright from a field of 47 cars competing in the Australian championship. This was a great result, but the focus was on the whole event, as it was classed as an endurance event over the 2 days.

Saturday saw the weather return to typical Coffs sunshine, albeit with a cold breeze that helped clear the dust from at least the morning stages. In the dry conditions it was more of a challenge to adapt to the new car, and only towards the later forest stages did the crew return to their usual pace.

A strong push through the last 2 forest stages and the 2 super specials saw the crew move back up the order to finish 11th outright for the weekend, and be 7th in the list of points scorers in the ARC.

The car was undamaged save for a freak of nature. Whilst waiting to enter the Valla stage for the second time, a branch fell and shattered the rear screen. Quick use of race tape managed to keep everything in place through to the end of the rally.

Overall it was a great debut for the new car, with the team left excited by the prospect of extracting more of the car’s potential. Bruce and Hugh wish to thank Rob and Richard for their excellent work as service crew, and Fullerton Financial Services for their support of the team.  

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