Rally Hyundai driver Mick Gillett and Harvey Smith are ready for the Coffs Rally.
Rally Hyundai driver Mick Gillett and Harvey Smith are ready for the Coffs Rally.

Diesel makes a rally start

THE first diesel car to tackle the Australian Rally Championship in the modern era is all set to go for the Coffs Coast Rally this weekend.

Team Hyundai Rally completed testing on the car last week in Canberra, with former Australian Rally Championship driver Rick Bates.

“Rick provided some valuable set-up information and feedback on the handling of the car. We are pleased with what we’ve learnt about the car,” team driver Mick Gillett said.

“We didn’t take a backward step all day, the car just continued to improve with each minor adjustment.”

While the crew members have many years worth of rallying experience between them, this is their first event in a diesel car and thus it will be treated as a learning experience.

“We are looking forward to seeing what the i30 can do,” Gillett added.

“We’ve still got plenty to learn about the car but it’s an exciting opportunity to see what a diesel can do in this format of motorsport.”

The next step for the crew is to get the i30 to Coffs Harbour for their first Australian Rally Championship event.

The event has a massive 292km of special stages and Gillett said that this is a real endurance test for the cars.

“The i30 will be very strong in this event but we have to pace ourselves to make sure we get to the end of such a long event,” he said.

“The event has great roads, some new ideas and will present a fantastic challenge.

“It really is a credit to the Coffs Harbour District Sporting Car Club that they have put their efforts behind such a great event,” co-driver Harvey Smith, who – as well as Gillett – grew up in Coffs Harbour, said.

“We are so excited to be coming home.”



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