Moscatt prepares for Chinese rally
- 25th September 2006, 3:15pm
The past month has been hectic for Dale to say the least. He returned from testing in China for just one night at home in Sydney before jetting off to Western Australia to team up with Grant Denyer and Team Mini. Mini withdrew from the event as a mark of respect on the first day and Dale was quickly back to Sydney to begin planning yet another rally in China.
“I did manage to get three days off after competing in the South Australian ARC round, but then it was back up to China to test some changes the Honghe Team have made to the car and spend some more valuable time testing with Xu Lang,” said Dale. “Then there was only one day in Sydney to swap bags, this time on my way over to Perth to jump on board with Grant and Team Mini.
“It was a great week leading up to the WA event and teaching Grant the fine art of writing pace notes. We started the rally in a great frame of mind and set very competitive times on the first two stages of the event, before hearing of the news on Peter and his accident,” explained Dale. “Team Mini is at these events to show everyone how much fun it is to drive a Mini and under those unfortunate circumstances I think the team made the right decision to withdraw from the event as a mark of respect to Peter and his family.
“We will have more opportunities to continue the good work we started over there shortly but it can be a tough reality check of the dangers in our sport in those situations and on that note I would really like to thank my fiancée, Selina, for her support and understanding through this, as it can be hard for her in times like that,” said Dale.
While Dale has remained committed to a season with Xu Lang in the Chinese Championship, the time between events has allowed him to both gain further experience and also give something back, in helping other drivers on their way through the ranks here in Australia. This time last year, Dale and team-mate, Cody Crocker, were busy securing yet another title for Subaru, but with limited opportunities here in Australia, both have looked overseas to continue in their chosen careers.
“Leaving the ARC after so many years to move into a seat in an international championship was a decision that had a lot of emotion involved for me,” explained Dale. “I had been competing in our national series since 1998 and to leave as soon as I had finally reached the top was a bit sad in some ways.
“I had been talking with Xu Lang since November of the previous year and his career is heading in the same direction I also want to go, so once all the pieces fell into place it was a fantastic opportunity that I could just not say no to. It is working out very well and we are very focussed on the goals we have set. It is a great progression to team up with someone who has so much potential and is just at the start of their career,” said Dale.
For round one in Shanghai, Dale and Xu Lang were second outright behind Alister McRae and 1st Chinese National team home. The following Liupanshui round two saw the team set good times on day one, only to retire when a broken control arm shot them off the road on day two. The lads enjoyed an afternoon of spectating from a rooftop but admit it’s not the way they’d have liked to have finished the event.
“In the last round we suffered from some overheating problems, as did a lot of crews. This was mainly due to a freakish 37 degree day on the Saturday and the 2000 odd meters of altitude in that rally. These issues have obviously been resolved and the team has made some changes to the setup of our car. We are very happy with our preparation for this event,” said Dale.
“The stages in this rally are quite difficult. The first stage of each of the two legs is very tight, narrow, twisty and technically demanding. We have written good notes to account for this but these stages will definitely claim some crews and we will be doing our best not to be one of them!,” said Dale. “As usual up here, there will be fierce competition from the numerous international drivers as well as some of the top local crews.”
The Kaiyang Rally kicks into gear from September 23rd to the 24th to cover 142 competitive kilometres with 92 teams entered. From here the series heads back towards Shanghai for the Langyou Rally in Zhejiang province from October 20-22, before the season finishes with round five in Shaoguan in Guangdong province. At around 350 kilometres north of Hong Kong, this round also doubles as a round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship and should make for a fantastic season finale.
Xu Lang and Dale Moscatt would like to thank their sponsors and supporters: Honghe Rally Team, Yokohama Advan Tyres, Telstra Rally Australia and Motul Oils.
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