Experienced Queensland rally driver and businessman, Bruce Fullerton, has thrown his full support behind up-and-coming rally driver, Ryan Smart, for the 2008 rally season.

Fullerton will offer financial and technical support to the former Australian representative motorbike enduro rider, with the aim of winning the 2008 Queensland Rally Championship.

Twenty-six year old Smart is a former professional enduro rider who has represented Australia and Queensland, and has been part of the factory Yamaha team.

He started rallying in 2007, having purchased a Datsun 180B, and competed in the KCF Short Course Rally Series, and in the classic component of Rally Queensland. His results included a second, a third and a fifth.

However, it was his performance at the Gallangowan Rally that brought Smart to the attention of Fullerton and others with a keen eye on young talent.

On the opening 8km prologue stage Smart’s 30 year-old Datsun 180B equaled the times set by Queensland Rally Champion Glen Brinkman in a Mitsubishi Lancer Ev, and the Subaru Impreza WRX of fellow front-runner Matt Van Tuinen.

“It was an amazing performance, and showed just what Ryan is capable of,” Fullerton said. “I felt the time was right to provide both financial assistance and my years of experience to support and help promote an obvious up-and-coming talent.”

Fullerton, himself a top-line competitor, who has one the Queensland Rally Championship on numerous occasions, will provide a Lancer Evo 6 for Smart to use in this year’s championship. Fullerton Financial Services will also provide financial support to Smart as he attempts to win the QRC on his very first attempt.

Smart will be co-driven by his sister, Rebecca Smart, who is 21. However the pair don’t see their age or their lack of experience as a burden as they embark on the 2008 season.

“I believe my dirt bike riding skills have helped me greatly in the rally car, and I am confident I can come away with the title in 2008,” Smart said.

Alan Stean and Silverstone Tyres have also come on board to support Smart’s assault in 2008, while Neil Lowe Motorsports will provide technical and set-up assistance. Smart’s parents’ business, Yandina Automotive Repairs, will also provide assistance and support.

Further sponsorship negotiations are currently under way, with an announcement expected shortly.

Fullerton will drive the second car in the Fullerton Financial Services Rally Team, however business commitments will mean that he will only be able to contest selected events in 2008.

Smart is also expected to do selected events outside the Queensland Rally Championship, including the Rally of Canberra and the Great Lakes Rally.

His first event with the new team will be the first round of the QRC – the Border Ranges Rally on April 5 - however he will undergo several test sessions prior to this event. Fullerton will also contest this event in the sister car.

RYAN SMART BIO

•    Represented Australia at the International 6-day enduro against the world’s best in the Czech Republic in 2002.

•    Finished third in the Australian 4-day Enduro Championships in 2002

•    Represented Queensland 7 times at Australian titles

•    3 times Queensland 4-stroke Enduro Champion

•    Contested the 2004 Grand National Cross Country Series in America

•    Rode for the factory Yamaha off-road team in Australia in 2005

•    Finished 6th in the Australian 4-day Enduro Championships in 2007, riding a privately entered Honda



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