Q: Adrian firstly thank you for your time. It’s pretty rare for a driver to confirm their plans ahead of the Christmas period, but you’ve announced your intentions for 2016. How important was that for you and your supporters to get that news out in 2015?
AC: I’m really excited to be able to confirm my plans so far out, its been a fair few months in the works so to finally reach a deal is a good feeling, and now means we can focus on getting some good testing in before Round 1.
Q: You’ll be running an ex-Toyota Super 2000 Corolla, interestingly Harry Bates will be doing the same. From the outside this looks like a two-car team, but you’ve said that while you’re both being run by Neal Bates Motorsport your programmes are entirely separate, can you explain that?
AC: Yes, Harry and I will be in identical cars, so from that stand point alone I’m really looking forward to the challenge. Harry has shown is potential in the sport and his raw speed. But as much as we are working together and running together to help one another, we are both finding our own budgets and sporting different liveries.
Q: Speaking of liveries you’ve hinted that you have something special in the works for this season?
AC: That’s right I’m taking a rotating sponsorship this year selling the car for each Round similar to how Team DJR Penske did last year in the V8’s, so will be exciting to see a different looking car each Round, which has been made possible by Autografika and there continued support of me.
Q: So Adrian that kind of sounds like the same arrangement you had under the Citroen Team Australia banner in 2014?
AC: Kind of in a way but a lot better. I think having both cars are in the workshop together with the same guys working on them, so a lot more consistency across the board.
Q: Being in identical cars, does that help each of you both have a yard stick on your performance but also give you someone else to bounce ideas off in terms of setup?
AC: Absolutely we have some test days arranged before WA so it’s going to be really interesting to see how similar or not Harry and I are in terms of set up and feeling, after that I guess we will know. But also working with guys that have built and run these cars with data that’s already been collected, that’s exciting for me and will be another big learning curve year ahead.
Q: And Adrian you’re yet to drive the car, what are your plans for getting up to speed as quickly as possible?
AC: I’ve driven Harry’s car for a couple of kilometres just before Rally Australia and enjoyed it but now we are looking at a two day test in March to really get a good, comfortable feeling in the car. I’m also planning on doing a lot of State events in my Group N(P) Corolla to keep ‘bum in seat time’ through out the year.
Q: What about your competitors, the guys you’ll be racing against, frustrating that at this stage you have no firm idea who will be in what car come the first Round in WA?
AC: Yes and no, you can’t let yourself worry about what everyone is doing or not and just focus on what we can control, if some of the rumors are correct though it could be a really good year.
Q: So crystal ball gazing then, who are you expecting to be the title contenders in 2016 and what will each of you have to do to beat them?
AC: I think there are a number of drivers, if they show up, who are all a chance. If Eli (Evans) manages to get something sorted he is for sure a class act and will be hard to beat, but I would like to think I’ll be there to keep him honest.
Thanks Adrian, good luck in 2016!