After missing the 2013 event due to injury, Queensland driver Matt van Tuinen is keen to experience the World Rally Championship for the first time when the Coates Hire Rally Australia arrives in Coffs Harbour this week.

Driving a Group N Subaru Impreza and with co-driver Erin Kelly calling the notes, van Tuinen holds no illusions about the scale of the task of competing against the world's best drivers,

"We'd love to be first Aussie home, especially for our new sponsor MPS Website Consulting Service, but that would mean being in front of Chris Atkinson in his Hyundai WRC and I don't think that's likely," van Tuinen added.

Although van Tuinen is one of the top runners in Queensland winning 3 of the 5 rounds held this year, and has featured in Asia-Pacific Rally Championship results in 2013, the WRC is new territory for both crew members.

"We've competed in Coffs before, but never as part of the WRC." said van Tuinen, "We were planning to run last year, but a back injury sustained in New Caledonia meant I had to sit it out."

"Realistically, we're just here to be part of the show," he said, "although we'd love to compare our times against these drivers, we will struggle with an 8-year-old car against this state of the art machinery.

"But it's one of the most amazing things about rallying, we can go out and compete against the world's best drivers, on the same roads, in the same event," he added.

The Coates Hire Rally Australia begins with a rally show in Coffs Harbour on Thursday 11 September, and concludes on Sunday 14 September.

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