The recent International Rally of Queensland marked the first time the Volkswagen Polo’s of Mick Patton and Michael Boaden ran with different engines, so who came out on top in the power plant stakes?

“I think we’ve proven over the weekend that both options work,” Mick Patton stated matter of factly when posed with that very question.
Patton was fielding a 1.8-litre turbo-charged engine, the same power plant that came fitted to the road going Polo GTi in Australia. Boaden on the other hand, who had run the same engine as Patton at the season opening Round in Canberra, had switched between events to a 2-litre, normally-aspirated engine.
“We’ve spoken about it a lot over the course of the rally,” explained Michael (pictured right). “And Mick thinks the turbo is the way to go for his driving style, where as I think for my driving style the normally aspirated engine suits me.”
“Both of our times were very close over the weekend,” added Patton. “So that proves both engines are working positively, and I think that’s the way we wanted it to be, we never wanted one or the other of us to have some massive advantage.”
“The fact that both engines got through the event is a massive tick in VW’s box, regardless of whether you’re talking about the turbo-charged or the normally-aspirated engine,” Patton continued.
“I think it just comes down to personal preference, like most things in this sport, it’s what suits you and what you’re more comfortable driving,” said Boaden who felt leading into the event that he preferred to have to push the high-revving non-turbo engine.
Patton agreed with Boaden’s feelings on giving drivers to freedom to find what worked best for them; “Identical cars, different driver, and you just have to make it work and that’s the beauty of this sport.”
Over the years different engines from different manufacturers have favoured specific event attributes. One engine may have been more drivable on the tight, technical rallies, while another engine may have come into it’s own on the fast, flowing roads at a different event.
“I don’t think one engine suits one type of conditions or another,” Patton stated. “Queensland had both tight and fast stages and neither of us seemed to have a distinct advantage over the other.”
“I’d agree with that, it seemed very even from the very first stage and that’s great to see. It means we both feel comfortable with the path we’ve taken and yet we can fight it over a handful of seconds on every stage and enjoy ourselves in the process.”
“After all we go rallying to have fun, we shouldn’t be trying to chuck a bunch of technical rules in the way that stop you from enjoying yourself!” laughed Boaden.

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