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Canberra’s Adrian Coppin is one of two drivers contesting the Australian Rally Championship in the new Team Citroen Australia squad. After four rounds, Coppin lies third in the championship race, with two rounds still to run.

RallySport Mag caught up with Coppin to see how his season is progressing.

RSM: You’re four events into the season, how have you seen your progress so far this year?
 
Coppin: Each event has been a big learning curve for not only me, but the whole team, but I think we are making good progress with the car and learning all its strengths and weaknesses. So, I’m really happy with the progress and the effort of the whole team.
 
What have been the biggest positives you have seen so far?
 
I think SA has been the biggest gains for me personally. I showed that with all the things working together I can be on the pace with a few stages only being a second off Brendo (Reeves), including the Power Stage. For me now it’s about getting as much experience as I can in the car and making all the things work so I can constantly drive at that pace.
 
On the other hand, are there some aspects of the Citroen that have taken some getting used to?
 
Definitely the torque, for me, has taken some getting used to, having never driven a turbocharged rally car before. It’s something completely new to me, but I think I now have the hang of it. The paddle shift, while it’s all fancy and great, has sometimes caused a few problems when things get busy trying to change gears. It becomes a bit exciting. But the Citroen DS3 is such a great car to drive and really rewarding when you get it right.
 
Can the car be a match for the Renault before the end of the season?
 
Scott (Pedder) and Dale (Moscatt) are in fantastic form, and this year was always a learning year for me in the car, so I don’t really want to draw any straight comparisons to the car Scott is driving exceptionally well.
 
There has been some discussion on social media with people believing the team is fully backed and funded by Citroen. Is this the case?
 
Citroen Australia and Citroen Racing are both heavily involved in the team from all aspects.
 
How similar will the car you drive in Rally Germany be to your ARC car, and what are you most looking forward to learning in the WRC round?
 
The car is identical, but will be in full blown tarmac trim, so from that point it will be great for me to learn the car and gain more experience, and learn from another team with the car. It’s also going to be a great opportunity to work more on my pace notes with Dale (Moscatt), something I’m really looking forward to.
 
Then comes Rally Australia - perhaps the biggest event of the year as far as results go. How are plans for this coming along?
 
Rally Australia is a very exciting round for us, as we also have the world team at the event, and it’s where we announced and launched the team last year. It will be great to show Citroen Racing, who we are always working very closely with, what we are doing ‘down under’. For the championship it’s a very important round as it’s three tough days and counts as an endurance round, so it’s very important to get the car to the finish and cement our third position in the championship.
 
Will there be any major changes to the cars for Rally Australia? And looking further ahead, what are your current plans for the 2015 season and beyond?
 
The cars meet the current R3 regulations so they will remain as is for Rally Australia as we are entering both cars in the WRC section of the event. There is an upgrade option for the cars that we are currently looking at for season 2015, but for me personally, as I look ahead, I have a few opportunities to do more in Europe next year and am currently working out our program for Australia.
 
Will you still be in a Citroen contesting the ARC?

Citroen have been great to me in giving me this opportunity for this year, and I look forward to continuing to work with them in the ARC for 2015.

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