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Raana Horan gave his new Skoda Fabia R5 the thumbs up after its New Zealand Rally Championship debut at Hyundai NZ Goldrush Rally of Coromandel on Saturday.
Horan finished eighth overall and just over three minutes behind rally winner Hayden Paddon.
He only just managed to get the car over to New Zealand and set up in time, confirming its place on the start line in the days leading into the rally.
But despite learning the ropes with the car on the run, Horan was pleased with his first hit-out in the car Indian Gaurav Gil used to win the Asia Pacific Rally Championship last year.
“I had hoped to drive better and faster but the car was better than me so it was great,” Horan said.
“It is fast man. It is quick and it has everything you want in a factory motorsport car really. I just have to get up to speed with it.”
Horan’s first run in the car came just a few days out from Coromandel and he used the rally as a means to get to know his new car.
“I drove it on the Tuesday at Maramarua and felt like I had two left feet. I stalled it 30 times I think. Then I took it down to TECT Park on Thursday and had another run and that was heaps better.
“[Saturday] I would have stalled it maybe 10 times but I got a bit better each time.
“I just wish I could drive it faster. I thought we got better as the day went on – we went up and up throughout the day.”
Horan is hoping to get some more seat time before the final round of the season – Hyundai New Zealand Raglan Rally of the Coast in mid-October.
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