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At the start of a new season and competing on his home rally Adrian Coppin admits he had high hopes, but a frustrating rally punctuated with technical problems means everything didn’t go according to plan.

The young Canberran driver, who is flying the flag this year for Ford Australia, is hopeful that from the upcoming Quit Forest Rally onwards the only way is up!

“It was an incredibly frustrating rally!” Coppin said. “The entire team really burnt the midnight oil in the lead up to our home rally, so to go out and have so many problems that really prevented us from showing the potential of the car as well as me as a driver, that hurts.”

While Coppin acknowledges he didn’t have a decently clean run to properly gauge his or the cars pace, he was happy with how he benchmarked against who he considers his nearest rival to be, fellow Ford man Steve Mackenzie.

“We were slowed on Saturday with problems, but on Sunday I was feeling a lot more comfortable with the car and I was pretty happy with how my times compared to Steve (Mackenzie). He’s had a lot more time in his Fiesta and we were pretty close to his pace, so that’s promising.”

“The challenge for me now is to get over to WA, an event I’ve not ever rallied at before, to learn the unique nature of the roads and really see how capable our Fiesta R2 is against the leading front-wheel drive competitors,” Coppin added.

The challenge facing the leading crews in Western Australia will be the unique ball-bearing roads and the loss of grip and traction that comes as a result. “I know it’s going to be a tough event, it’s going to be a huge learning curve!”

While the opening Round may have proven a disappointment for Coppin he’s staying focused on the bigger picture and the importance of the manufacturer’s Championship for Ford.

“We are up against two car teams from Honda and Renault, so it’s a huge challenge. I think even I quickly forget that I’ve only got 20 rallies of experience under my belt, but I’m keen for the challenge that comes with the pressure to secure good results for Ford.”

Coppin and his team are racing time to re-prepare the Fiesta R2 for WA. “I know it’s going to be a tough rally so we’re preparing the car for whatever comes our way, we’re pretty confident we have a strong package!”
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