Irish team aiming for back-to-back Premier League titles
- 29th December 2011, 12:11pm
The Celtic Motorsport Team have, in the last week, finalised plans to defend their Premier League title in 2012. After a down-to-the-wire battle in this year's championship, where team owner and driver Charlie Drake narrowly edged out Mick Patton from Canberra and Derek Reyolds from Victoria, the crew has again committed to the Bosch ARC series in 2012, albeit with a few changes inside the car.
For 2012 Charlie Drake will jump out of the drivers seat and become Team Manager with the Dashsport-prepared EVO IX to be driven by Richie Dalton with Charlie's brother, Paul, the navigator. Richie, owner of Shamrock Haulage, a large crane and truck hire company in Sydney, completed a short test with the car last week under the watchful eye of Rallyschool instructer and owner of Freak Motorsport Fabrications, Hayden Taylor, while Team mechanic, Darren "Dasher" Williams, spent time getting Richie comfortable in the car and giving driving tips to Richie. Richie started his rallying career back in 2006 when he navigated for Charlie in a Toyota Sprinter where the pair enjoyed numerous class wins in the NSW Rally Series.
Paul Drake is the Transport Manager of Cladtrans, Sydney's premier quarry material supply and haulage contractor. Paul has little gravel rally experience but has had an illustrious career in Hot Rod and Rallycross back in Ireland and has won National Titles in both disciplines. This year Paul jumped into the navigator's seat for Charlie at the Termeil Rallysprint where the Drake brothers took first outright, proving that Paul is a quick learner and has the talent to become a leading ARC Co-Driver.
Team Manager Charlie Drake outlines the teams plans for 2012.
"The team will travel to Melbourne to tackle the East Coast Bullbars Rally Calder at the start of March. The car will be prepared and maintained by Dashsport and Performance again this year and I will be on hand to help both Richie and Paul throughout the year. Rally Calder is a perfect event to settle the lads into the car and while the team will be using this event as more of a test, it will be a good indication on where we are at in terms of our Premier League rivals for the remainder of the season.
"Both the lads are lacking in competitive stage kilometres so the only way to fix that is throw them in at the deep end and help them as best we can. We have a good car and a crew chomping at the bit to learn and go as fast as they can within their limits, so it's going to be an exciting year."
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