Rally young gun Chris Stilling will be using the current isolation period to make further improvements to his car as he looks to continue developing his career in 2020.
Having emerged onto the New South Wales rally scene in 2019 with the ACT novice and NSW 2WD development series titles, Stilling had a sour end to the year after mechanical issues forced him to retire from the Alpine Rally of East Gippsland.
Eager to make his RSEA Motorsport Australia Rally Championship debut and put a disappointing end to 2019 behind him, Stilling and his team worked overtime in the off season to get his Datsun Stanza ready for the 2020 Netier National Capital Rally.
However with COVID-19 postponing many motorsport events until later in the year, Stilling will now use the time to make further enhancements to the car.
“Since the end of the 2019 season, I already had a lot of preparation to do on the car to get it back to scratch for the 2020 season,” Stilling said.
“I had to swap out a broken differential and replace it with a new one. We also discovered the engine of the Stanza needed work with the FJ only running to 50 per cent of its capacity just weeks out from Canberra.
“With a mammoth effort from Shane from Endurance Automotive we managed to recondition the head of the motor and fix the cylinder leakage just in time for the Canberra event only for it to be cancelled.
“Like everyone else, I am hopeful there will be competitive events run this season. However, we are all just going with the flow and playing it by ear.
“My plan in the meantime is to upgrade the car’s safety features including looking for winged race seats. I will also use this time to make sure the car is 100 per cent ready for the next event and tweak any minor imperfections.”
Stilling also received a major boost from current sponsor, Triple UFM Shoalhaven’s Listen to the Raine, with the local radio motoring program announcing plans to sponsor him again in 2021.