FAST PACE: Nathan Quinn driving the Coffs Coast Rally Team Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX during the Eureka Rally in Ballarat.
FAST PACE: Nathan Quinn driving the Coffs Coast Rally Team Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX during the Eureka Rally in Ballarat. Joel Strickland Photographics

Quinn quick to reach the ARC dais

LOCAL rally driver Nathan Quinn sits only two points from the championship lead after the opening round of the Australian Rally Championship.

Quinn and co-driver David Calder finished second on both days of the Eureka Rally in Ballarat, the opening event of the ARC for 2017.

The Coffs Coast Rally Team could be at the top of the list if it wasn't for a mechanical issue at the end of the first day.

With two stages to go Saturday, the Coffs Coast Rally Team led Harry Bates and his co-driver John McCarthy by 6.9 seconds but problems with Quinn's Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX forced the 30 year-old to nurse the car home and give up the lead, eventually finishing 14.8 seconds adrift of the round one winners.

Sunday's driving saw Quinn and Calder back in the swing but Australian rally car racing veteran Eli Evans, disappointed with a fifth place finish on day one, came out firing to grab a handy 12.8 second lead over Quinn after only two stages.

The local driver chipped away at the lead until he trailed by only 1.5 seconds heading into the final stage.

Evans was too quick in his Peugeot 208 Maxi at the end but for Quinn he was satisfied with his team's weekend.

"The top end was definitely tough and it was the first time I've ever been a battle like that and I really enjoyed it," he said.



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