Young Rally gun set to take next step
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
A POT of gold supposedly sits at the end of every rainbow. Getting to the end of the rainbow is a difficult task because as Kermit The Frog sings: 'Rainbows are visions, but only illusions'.
Coffs Harbour rally car driver Nathan Quinn is trying hard to make that illusion become a reality though as his pot of gold could be only a good weekend of driving away.
Driving around the forests north-west of Brisbane at Kilcoy this weekend, the 20 year-old is hoping for a strong showing in the KCF short course event as a stepping stone to the Coates Rally Queensland which the first round of the NEC Australian Championship (ARC) to be held at the end of this month.
All these events are a means for Quinn to reach his ultimate goal by the end of the year which is driving in a round of the World Rally Championship (WRC), in particular the event in Brisbane in September.
"The rally this weekend isn't about looking for a long lost trophy for us," Quinn said.
"This is more about training in tough conditions, under pressure. Both the ARC and WRC use 'pacenotes' during the events and this KCF rally will be my first opportunity to develop and practice a system that suits me."
For the uninitiated, pacenotes make an event faster than a normal rally as the crew get to drive over the course and make notes on every bend and corner. During each stage the navigator then reads these notes to the driver to enable higher speeds to be obtained.
Rally car driving is in the blood for Quinn as his father Martin was once rated as the fastest driver in Australia. Now Dad has taken a back seat as Nathan flies around the bends at speeds similar to how quickly his career is developing.
"We're moving ahead at a very fast pace with Nathan's career in rallying," the proud father explained.
"People forget that he's only been competing for five events and that most drivers take years to get to his pace and maturity.
"This weekend will be a litmus test for him to see how he handles the higher speed of this type of event and it will also be his opportunity to show us what he can do in the old Mazda which will determine how quickly we move into a 4WD turbo car."
The move up to the Turbo's is a big step, especially when you've been competing in a hotted up 1970 RX2 Mazda.
Admittedly it is a Mazda that has been given a necessary boost over summer as it required some massive repairs after a gruelling event in Canberra.
"The old steed has had to undergo some pretty creative surgery to repair the damage done to chassis in the last rally but it's now as straight as," the young driver said.
"It's been a fairly large rebuild project as we've had to find some pretty rare parts for the old thing but now it's ready."
The car's ready and the driver's ready. All that's needed now is for a rainbow to appear with that elusive pot of gold.