Hyundai returns for Coffs Coast Rally
- 8th August 2007, 4:47pm
Gillett and Smith, who cut heir teeth rallying in district events with the Coffs Harbour and District Sporting Car Club, are now the lynch-pins of Hyundai Motor Company Australia’s (HMCA) Excel Rally Team.
This is the team’s third year at Coffs Harbour after a successful run at last year’s event, where they were leading the Excel Series until a last stage mishap delayed the crew by about 40 seconds. They eventually finished second Excel home. While being a bit disappointed with last years final stage, the team are looking forward to returning to some familiar roads around Coffs Harbour.
"Last year was all about winning the Championship and our second position in Coffs consolidated our lead and was crucial to our winning the Championship in 2006," said driver, Mick Gillett.
This will be Gillett’s first drive in the Hyundai in 2007 having had former Australian Rally Champion Ed Ordynski drive for the team at the Rally of Lithgow in May. Ed certainly helped lift the profile of the Excel Series at Lithgow. The talk of the rally wasn’t about who was winning outright, but Ed's drive in the Excel.
The team expects to be a bit rusty, having not driven since November last year, but hope to get up to speed as early as possible. "I had planned on some testing in Melbourne in July, but typical Melbourne weather prevailed and the testing grounds were flooded out. I have spent the last week driving around in the team’s test car to try and get a feel for things, so time will tell." Gillett added.
According to Gillett, "Hyundai are looking at motorsport as an avenue for brand building. The Accent rally car features in marketing communications for the Hyundai Genuine Parts Program. Providing parts support for older models in the Hyundai range is important to all current Hyundai customers and also future customers."
While in Coffs Harbour, the team will be supported at the rally by Coffs Harbour Hyundai. "Warren Skinner and his team at Coffs Harbour Hyundai support the rally team every year we have come to Coffs and the help provided is invaluable. " believes Mick Gillett.
The team in 2007 is supported by Infomedia’s Superservice Menus, Bond Roll Bars, Caldwell Auto body, Lumen Australia, Performance Wheels, Eibach, Microcat MARKET, Mobis Parts Australia, Alianz Insurance and the Hyundai Dealer Network.
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