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Sydney driver Richie Dalton will drive a Skoda Fabia R5 at next month’s Rally Australia. While his New Zealand Rally Championship bound Ford Fiesta Proto nears completion, Irishman Richie Dalton will get his hands on an ex-factory Skoda for a one-off drive. Dalton is champing at the bit to drive the car.
“It will be great to finally get back behind the wheel,” he told RallySport Magazine.
“We have only done a Power Stage and stage two in Canberra in May 2015 since winning the Australian 4WD championship in November 2014. It’s been a long time between drinks.” Co-driver John Allen is also looking forward to the experience beside the talented Irishman. “We haven’t been together in a competitive car for over two years and learning a brand new left-hand drive Skoda will be challenging with limited testing before the event,” Allen said.
“We also have big competition with the likes of Eli Evans, Harry Bates and Brendan Reeves in AP4 cars, and Kalle Rovanpera in a Fiesta R5.  I think it will be best to concentrate on our own rally and see how the results fall out after three days in the forest.
“Right now I’m just looking forward to getting back in a car with Richie and making the most of this opportunity. For sure it will be the best car I have ever sat in.” Several electrical gremlins with his Dalton’s Fiesta has meant that the car hasn’t made its long-awaited debut this year, with the Shamrock Motorsport team deciding to delay their NZRC campaign until next year. The team are now concentrating on testing the new Fiesta, with the seat time in the Fabia R5 a real bonus. In the meantime, the battle between Dalton’s R5 Fabia and the locally built AP4 cars at Rally Australia will certainly be one to watch.
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