Patton completes first ever rally
- 9th September 2009, 3:27pm
This time it was the turn of Michael Patton from Southern Automotive Services in Canberra, who won his Subaru WRX Rally Car Drive in last weekends WRC in Northern New South Wales after entering the Repco Win-A-Drive Competition in September 2008.
The Win-A-Drive Competition was a Joint Venture between Extremedriving.net and Repco, and the 10 lucky finalists attended Rally Drive Days at their local Rally Drive Day Centre, with them choosing from Extremedriving.netâ€™s extensive network of Real Forest Rally Locations all over Australia. All of the finalists were very enthusiastic, with 3 drivers proving quite quickly that they possessed the necessary skills and mindset to be of the calibre to train for, and then drive in a World Championship Rally for their first event. Michael Patton was the eventual winner, following an extremely close evaluation of all 3.
Michael Patton began all his training with Extremedriving.netâ€™s National Manager, James Stroud, and completed the more intense components such as pacenoting, road positioning, and how to increase road speed through the tighter bends, with Extremedriving.netâ€™s owner, Mark Haybittle. Mark also covered many, many other aspects of WRC driving with Michael, such as how to always be in a higher gear and how to hold a tighter racing line, despite being on loose gravel surfaces. Mark continued this instruction throughout the Rally itself as it turned out, as he elected to assist in managing the final outcome, by co-driving for Michael in last weekendâ€™s event.
Extremedriving.net built the Repco Win-A-Drive Rally Car from a fresh road car, which was constructed precisely to the WRC regulations. The car behaved absolutely faultlessly throughout every single one of the 1680 kms, and needed little more than a check of the engine oil and a check of all fittings at every one of the major service points.
The event itself ran very well indeed, with 70,000 spectators attending over the 3 days, which is a very, very solid testament to all the hard work put in by the entire team at Repco Rally Australia. Mark Haybittle said of the event â€œ This has been an awesome opportunity to take Rallying to the people, and to get people involved. The Super Special Stage at Murwillumbah was truly incredible, with people lined 10 deep in places, and with all the restaurants and cafes full to capacity. Amazing. What an unforgettable buzz, that reminded me of past WRCâ€™s in Perth â€œ. We can all build on this â€œ.
Extremedriving.net would like to thank Repco for the opportunity to represent them in a unique way, as well as all the many, many other people that contributed to this historical moment for the team. In particular, they extend sincere gratitude to all the team at Repco Rally Australia, Subaru Australia, Neo Oils, PPG paint, Cricks Subaru, Mark and Amy Butcher and all the team at Driver Skills Australia.
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