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The International Rally of Queensland was a tough but promising rally for the Opti-Coat Rally Team, with driver Steve Mackenzie and co-driver Ben Searcy  not being able to finish either heat, despite that the team are confident with their pace leading into the final two rounds.
“We set times among the top 6 which is exactly what we wanted to do, had it not been for the issues I feel we had the pace to place among the top 5,” Steve said at the end of a gruelling rally.
Midway through heat one it was all going to plan with Steve and Ben keeping the fiesta within the top 6 until the 10thstage where they cut a corner a little too much which put the car on two wheels and then into the bank which damaged the radiator and left the car stranded in the stage.
The second heat with the car repaired, Steve set off setting again top 5 times keeping the larger teams honest. “We had to manage the speed early on as we had some overheating issues due to the incident in heat one. This was joined with electrical issues which lead to the thermo fan failing and the car eventually succumbed to the heating and electrical issues which again put us out on the spot”
The team still leaves Queensland quite happy with their achievements, although not finishing both heats they were as high as 5th at one stage running in a car that is 5 years old up against more experienced competition.
“Sure we can look at what could have been, we know where we made some mistakes, and what we can learn from the weekend, we know the speed is there. We’re already looking forward to Coffs Harbor which is another rally we've done so it will be good to again run on some familiar roads.”
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