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Realising his budget for the season was minimal at best Stephen Turner opted to throw everything at Rally Australia, and in doing so he hoped that it would be enough to earn him the recognition and support to step in 2014, but did he do enough?
“It’s been a pretty lean year for me,” said Turner. “We did a club rally and drove zero car at a State Round in Tasmania, and we spent the entire budget on making sure we did a really good job at Rally Australia.”
It would be Turner’s first outing in his Ford Fiesta R2 since Rally Victoria last November, and despite his limited time in the car the young Tasmanian was hopeful of a good result.
“I really wanted to prove a point, to prove what we can do in the car and the sort of result we can achieve. 15th outright I felt was a really good result, especially being first two-wheel drive home,” Stephen stated.
Turner in the end would reach the finish ramp ahead of the similar R2 Fiesta of ECB ARC regular Adrian Coppin, the pair split by 1 minute 15.7 seconds.
“I couldn’t have asked for more than that result, when you compare our times we probably would have been in the top five or six in the ARC and that’s not bad off considering how little time I’ve spent driving this year.”
So does Turner believe his one outing at Australia’s Round of the World Rally Championship was enough to secure him the support he needs for 2014?
“I know the car has the capability, and I think I can drive it consistently to good results, now I just need to find the money,” he explained.
“The aim for next year is pretty simple, I want to do the full ARC, I want to be there doing all the Rounds, not just a Round here or there like the last two years.”
With Adrian Coppin announcing at Rally Australia that he would be switching from Ford to Citroen for 2014, the door may have opened for Turner to step up with the Blue Oval.
“We are speaking with Ford, that opportunity has opened with (Adrian) Coppin heading to Citroen, and I’d like to think there might be something we can do together next year to be involved with them,” Stephen said.
“At this time of year you just need to be talking to anyone and everyone, keep plugging away at every opportunity, and hope that something falls our way for next year.”
With one Round remaining in the East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship, Rally Victoria, Turner admitted he was disappointed to have to opt to miss out and focus all his attention on next season.
“I’m definitely aiming to be at the first Round in Canberra next year, even if the rest of the season isn’t 100% settled. It’d be good to be there, score some good points and work towards the rest of the year. We will have to see what happens between now and then!”
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