Getting into gear for the rally were (from left) Tony Creer, Keith Rhoades, Luke Hartsuyker, Andrew Fraser, Sean Broadbent and Nathan Quinn.
Getting into gear for the rally were (from left) Tony Creer, Keith Rhoades, Luke Hartsuyker, Andrew Fraser, Sean Broadbent and Nathan Quinn.

Coffs Coast Rally makes a comeback

SHOPPERS in Coffs City Centre on Thursday received a sneak peek at one of the rally cars which will get down in the dirt of the forests around the city seven days from now.

With civic leaders 'doing the honours', driver Nathan Quinn and his Allied Air Conditioning-Daikin Mitsubishi Lancer were on hand as the Coffs Coast Rally received its public launch after years in the wilderness.

The ARC event has gone international with the first crews from all over the country making their way here from tomorrow.

It's been eight years since the event rocked the district and an even longer 16 years since Coffs Harbour produced a competitor capable of coming home well inside the top 10.

Previous efforts saw Wayne Hoy and current rally director Martin Quinn (Nathan's father) wage furious battles with today's championship leader Neal Bates and the late Possum Bourne and their efforts, although gallant, were usually thwarted by mechanical failure.

But the latest Quinn behind the wheel is certain this won't be the case this time, with hundreds of hours spent preparing the car.

“I think I have the best team in Australia as the backbone is Matty Nash and Shannon Smith who've been with me for some time and spent countless hours stripping and rebuilding the car,” Nathan Quinn said.

“With the added experience of Dad - more aptly my manager these days - sponsors, family, local and interstate friends, our team of about 14 people really know what they are doing - I really should be paying them.”

Quinn will again be partnered by three-time Asia Pacific Rally champion Ben Atkinson, brother of Subaru World Rally Team Driver Chris Atkinson.

Ben sat in the car with Quinn in the 2008 Coates Rally Queensland and guided him to fifth outright.

A total of 29 ARC crews have confirmed their entry, and a further 30 are expected in the State section of the event.

Quinn is seeded out a commendable eighth on the road and coming from the recent State win in Myall Lakes, will again be looking at securing State supremacy.

The Rally has a ceremonial start in Coffs City Centre next Friday with competition commencing from the BCU International Stadium the following day.



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