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2012 Championship standout Mick Patton is working on multiple plans ahead of the new season, hoping that options will fall into place as he ramps up his involvement in the sport.

After winning a prize drive at the 2009 Rally Australia, Patton went on to build his own Subaru Impreza WRX, and dominated the 2012 Privateer’s Cup before securing second in the four-wheel drive Championship behind Michael Boaden.

It’s been a short rise to prominence for the Canberran, but one that Patton attributes to his hard work and determination to succeed.

“I’ve had to work, work and work to find the best way to drive quickly,” he explained. “It’s flattering when I hear people say I’m a natural driver, but the truth of the matter is that’s not the case and everything I’ve been able to achieve has been through a lot of hard work.”

Patton, who is partnered by experienced navigator Bernie Webb, attributes much of his rapid rise in rallying to many hours of homework away from the rally track.

“I’ve spent a lot of time with Bernie learning to write pace notes that will give me confidence to push, and Steve Glenney too has spent a huge amount of time with me on my driving, getting to a point where I’m getting the best out of the car.”

Ahead of the 2013 season Patton made the decision to move away from his four-wheel drive Subaru into the outright category of the ECB Australian Rally Championship.

“I think I knew pretty much all of last year that moving to a two-wheel drive car was the best option for me. It’s just been a case of finding the right option that allows me to learn and be competitive at the same time,” Mick explained.

“I’ve been speaking with Justin Dowel for quite some time about getting into one of the Polo’s, I know he’s forming a two-car team with Michael Boaden, so anything I’d do would be separate to that.”

“Unfortunately it sounds like there have been quite a few delays bringing parts and cars out of South Africa, where the cars are built and run, so at the moment I’m waiting to hear if it’s an option.”

“Getting into one of the VW Polo’s is my option A, but that won’t happen in time for Canberra,” Patton continued. “So option B is to get into a Ford Fiesta R2, and I’ll be picking that up this week to begin getting used to not only a new car but also driving it from the left side of the car.”

After receiving support from Repco last season, Patton confirmed that the parts giant had resigned for the new year, and that in turn had pushed him to lock away a car for the season.

“I’m keeping all options open, I know what I’ll be driving in Canberra but I have no idea what I’ll be in after that. It’s exciting to have the renewed support of Repco but I’m also mindful that they are putting money into a programme and right now I don’t have a car for the year to show them in return.”

Despite the first Round of the new season being his home event, Patton has said that he won’t start the event with any notable experience. “I’ve actually never done a rally in Canberra,” he said. “I’ve been to a local event to retrieve a broken car, and I did a one stage rallysprint, so I really have no home town advantage at all!”

“I’ve driven up Mineshaft on my trail bike – twice – does that count?” Patton joked.

“I know the rallies here always have a high attrition rate though, so if I take it slow and steady I’m thinking I can work my way into a good position by cleaning up from other people’s misfortune. I can’t wait though, the first stage can’t come soon enough!”
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