Local rally driver Nathan Quinn.
Local rally driver Nathan Quinn. Bruce Thomas

Quinn breaks through

COFFS Harbour's Nathan Quinn has broken through for his first career race victory in impressive style, winning the Malaysian Rally in Johor.

Quinn raced for Malaysian team GSR Repsol Air Asia, in his first competitive drive in a rally since November.

Quinn delivered the race of his life to win the Johor event after succumbing to mechanical problems mid-way through the first stage.

"Nathan got off to a really strong start but a total brake failure saw him drop to 14th place, almost six minutes behind top spot," Quinn's father Martin said.

"It was a perfect drive from Nathan to come back from so far behind in the standings.

"The team worked really well to keep him in the race and Nathan returned the favour by getting the result.

"He has gone so close to winning before, so to finally get the monkey of his back is a great feeling."

What makes the result even more spectacular is the fact Quinn nearly didn't start the race.

"The car Nathan was lined up to drive didn't clear customs, so it would have been very easy for the team to pull out," Martin said.

"Credit to the GSR Repsol Air Asia team, as they pretty much put together a car from scratch in the week before the event."

The Johor event was the third round of the AAM Malaysian Rally Championship and is said to be the most gruelling of them all.

"The course was really tight and left very small room for error," Martin Quinn said.

"Torrential rain saw the track become like an ice rink and it got to the point where the second stage had to be cancelled for safety concerns.

"For Nathan to get the car home in such tough conditions without a scratch on the car was an achievement in itself."

Quinn's next race is set for October 28, when he will be going full-throttle again in the Rally of Longhou in China.

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