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Leading New Zealand rally driver, Dylan Turner, has given the new Hoosier gravel rally tyres a thumbs up after an initial test outing at last weekend’s Hoddle Road Rallysprint. Turner became the first Kiwi driver with a front-running four-wheel-drive turbo car to sample the US-made tyres, which are also the control rubber for the 2020 Australian Rally Championship. "Cardwell’s [Cardwell Racing Supplies] are the New Zealand agent and I’ve been given three sets to evaluate and offer some feedback on,’’ said Turner. Running the 205/65 R15 size tyre on his Audi S1 Quattro AP4, Turner began on the medium compound, made a back-to-back comparison with the Dunlop rubber he typically runs, and changed to the Hoosier hard compound to set his best time and finish second behind Jack Hawkeswood.
"First impressions are very good and I was impressed by the lateral grip, especially on the rear of the car,’’ Turner told RallySport Magazine.
Sunday’s rallysprint was a return to competition for Turner after a Maramarua Forest test day outing in July. "My last rally was Waitomo last year and that wasn’t a good rally for us. "That seems like ages ago and I was as rusty as an old nail on that first run today. "I’m just so grateful I can be here [Hoddle Road] because I live in the Waikato, just a couple of kilometres outside of the Auckland region.’’
Dylan Turner Audi AP4

Dylan Turner was impressed by the new Hoosier rally tyres on his Audi Quattro last weekend. Photo: Geoff Ridder

Prior to the COVID-19 disruptions the Pukekohe-based real estate agent had planned a full-season NZ Rally Championship campaign. He debuted the Audi S1 in 2018 and the main changes for the 2020 season have been re-tuning the engine to run on E85 fuel, and fitting a new steering rack.
"This would have been my third season in the Audi and I was starting to get to grips with it and now we’ve had this big break,’’ said Turner.
"We will do the Rally of Auckland, which I’m really looking forward to because I haven’t rallied on those Puhoi, Kaipara Hills and Riverhead Forest stages before. "We’re also hoping to do the Bay of Plenty Rally, and possibly the Waitomo Clubmans Rally as well. "But this weekend I’ll probably have a tear in my eye when I’m doing open homes instead of competing at WRC Rally New Zealand. "I was so looking forward to it, but everything is outside our control at the moment,’’ he added.

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