After a break from national rally competitions due to COVID-19, Trevor Stilling is eager to test his Nissan Silvia out in the Monaro Stages Rally this Saturday.
The last long event the Silvia competed in was the Adelaide ARC in late 2019 where he won outright the 2WD class with co-driver Larisa Biggar. The Monaro Stages rally is a round of the NSW and ACT rally championships.
Stilling, who was the run-away winner of the 2017 Australian Classic Rally Challenge series driving a Datsun Stanza, made a return to racing last year after injuring his back in a bad crash during the Classic Outback Trial at Alice Springs in 2018.
He finished second 2WD in the 2019 Pedder’s Eureka Rush Rally, following up with a win in the Adelaide round of the Australian series.
Stilling, who has experienced co-driver Anthony Caldwell next to him in the Cooma Nissan Silvia, is keen to finish in the top 2WD placings this weekend.
“It’s a long rally, but we do have a good service team supporting us,” Stilling said.
He won't be deterred by the road conditions dampened by recent rains.
"Wet roads bring challenges but also makes it a tight race. We need to make sure we make it to the end of the rally and our car is prepared for all road conditions."
The Nissan Silvia was a crowd favourite in last year’s Australian Rally Championship with the car’s livery in the design of ‘Lighting McQueen’ from the Cars movie, complete with no 95.
"The previous owner designed the car for his children. Our fans liked it, so we kept the design," Stilling said.
Stilling’s son, Chris, who took out several awards last year in his first year of rally driving and is currently rebuilding a car for the 2021 season.
For this event he is navigating in the Regularity stages for first time driver, Jacci Sharkey, in a Mitsubishi Mirage.
Jacci recently navigated for Andrew Penny in the Bluerange Rallysprint.
"I am not sure what side of the car I prefer, but I really like to understand both sides," she said.
"I think overall it will make me a better competitor."
The regularity event is only four stages and designed for new competitors to test their skills and their car.
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