Quinn declares he's up for ARC title fight
WHEN the final round of the Australian Rally Championships hits the Coffs Coast in November, motorsport fans will have the chance to cheer on a local in the hunt for the national title.
Nathan Quinn had a near-faultless weekend in the Mount Lofty Ranges to clean sweep the points in the Lightforce Rally SA.
The 31-year-old won 12 of the 14 stages to record the first ARC win for both himself and the Coffs Coast Rally Team.
"It worked out pretty well for us," Quinn said.
"I'm very happy to finally get a win for the team after rallying for 10 years."
Quinn said there was now a little extra confidence heading into the final round.
"I'm heading to my home round. I'm sure Harry (Bates) can confirm that driving in your home event is a lot easier, but Harry and I have a massive job ahead of us to overhaul Molly," he said.
"Hopefully the Coffs Coast Rally Team can come out on top."
The big points boost from South Australia sees Quinn move to within striking distance of championship leader Molly Taylor.
He now trails the leader by 30 points but there are plenty of points on offer in the next and final round, the Kennards Hire Rally Australia.
"It's now a two-horse race between Molly and myself for the championship," ," Quinn said.
"As it sits now, I'll have to win in Coffs and she'll have to finish fourth for me to win.
"Between Harry, Eli (Evans) and myself, we are all faster than her but she's probably more consistent."
Bates was the championship leader prior to the South Australia rally but he was sidelined before the first stage, the new Toyota Yaris AP4 suffering an engine misfire.
"I'm not going to lie, it was a bit of a blessing Harry went out," a frank Quinn said.
"I wasn't sure we could beat him in his Toyota Yaris, so when we saw him turn around and go back to service park it gave me some extra confidence."
Bates endured a weekend that Quinn himself had experienced in Canberra and the local driver admitted he appreciated the change in luck.
"It was really unusual, it was pretty much a faultless rally for us," he said.
"After the drama that we've had all year, it was a pretty clear weekend."
Quinn and his team returned home this afternoon and already they're looking towards November.
The team will strip back the entire car and check every part to make sure they minimise the possibility of anything going wrong in their home event.
"I think now it gives me extra motivation for Rally Australia," he said.
"It's not just about the WRC and WRC2 cars now, at least the locals can have a vested interest in the event.
"What we set out to do in South Australia was to bring the rally fight to Coffs Harbour, and we've done that."