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One of the most exciting new cars ready to hit the gravel stages of the East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship this season, the G2-spec Ford Fiesta of Steve Mackenzie, is unlikely to make it’s debut appearance until the second Round.
 

Speaking from his workshop where the Fiesta is currently still undergoing fabrication, Mackenzie confirmed that while he’ll be competing at the opening Round in Canberra the new car will not.
 
“Everything is progressing, but it’s progressing slowly, and for that reason we will be running the old Fiesta in Canberra rather than the new one,” he said.
 
“The original timetable for the build was always going to be very tight if we were going to make the start line in Canberra, unfortunately a few small delays have put us behind and we had to make the decision to put a hold on the development of the new car to prepare the old car.”
 
“We could have really pushed and probably made it in time but there wouldn’t have been any chance to test and I just don’t think that would have been a good idea,” Mackenzie continued.
 
Steve admitted that some areas of fabrication had also held up the build programme, but that everything was quickly coming together. While the car remains a relatively bare shell he believes that the build will progress rapidly in the coming weeks.
 
“I think the new car is going to be great straight out of the box. We’ve kept the engine fairly standard, because it was such a great engine to begin with. The wiring is ready to go in, the suspension is ready, really we can start bolting everything together pretty soon.”
 
Having impressed with the second fastest qualifying time at the Pedders Power Stage in Rally Victoria at the end of last season Mackenzie said he’s expecting big things from the new Fiesta.
 
“I’m already aiming to be in the top 3 or 4. We are taking it one rally at a time though, everything is new so we just don’t know what to expect.”
 
“At this stage having it ready for WA is definitely the plan, that gives us about another four weeks to get everything ready,” he explained.
 
With such a rapid rise in the ECB ARC Mackenzie admitted that getting ready for the second Round, the Quit Forest Rally, was both an exciting and daunting prospect on what will be his first attempt at the West Coast event.
 
“It’s an event I’ve never done before, which actually doesn’t worry me. From what I’ve been told it’s a fairly smooth event and not too tough on cars, where as if we’d debuted the new car in Canberra, which is a notoriously tough event, I think we might have come away with problems.”
 
“I’m probably looking forward to the challenge more than dreading it. No matter what happens I just can’t wait to finally get the new car onto gravel!”

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