Quinn keeps ARC door open

It’s been more than two years since Nathan Quinn last competed in the Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC), and it seems Australian rally fans may not have to wait much longer to see him compete on the national stage again.

The 2017 ARC Champion has recently expressed interest in entering selected rounds this year, having last graced the national rally scene at his title winning Kennards Hire Rally Australia in 2017.

While he has yet to confirm which specific events he will compete in 2020, if any at all, the New South Welshman is confident he will run the season finale in his home state, as well as putting two more rounds on his radar for the year.

“I think I will be competing in some ARC events this year. There is a 110 per cent chance that I will run in the New South Wales round, as there is no better feeling than driving at home,” Quinn said.

“We hope to make it to some other events this year, and I really do like the single day concept. It works really well for someone like me who is a little bit time poor and doesn’t have good enough budgets. Those events can certainly help in that respect.

“I also have an interest in Rally Tasmania, but that has its own little hurdles. I am always trying to do something different… race on different roads and different conditions against different competitors, but I feel the time has come to have another crack at my home rally.”

Despite showing interest in competing in the single day event in Canberra, Quinn has remained tight-lipped about his plans in Australia – especially in 2020.

However, the 33-year-old has revealed he intends to compete in the 2020 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), meaning stints in Canberra and/or Tasmania could be on the cards.

“I wanted to get back into the Australian championship but I have been a bit short on a few things, so we now have looked into the Asian Championship, where we can qualify through international rounds,” Quinn explained.

“It sparked my interest because there is a shootout too, and the New South Wales round in November would be perfect to get in shape for that. We also looked at other options and saw that the Tassie round is marked as an international qualifying event for the APRC.

“In the interim, I saw Canberra was a single-day event which was interesting. I really do enjoy the forests at Tidbinbilla, so the focus would be having a lash at the APRC and use Canberra as a test.

“There might be a situation one day where we have a full budget to do the full ARC which will be fantastic. With me it’s always up in the air until entries close, but I can certainly say I am pretty concrete in doing at least two ARC events.”

With March’s Netier National Capital Rally firmly on his mind, he will most likely team up with his 2019 Alpine Rally winning co-driver Ray Winwood-Smith and Quinn admits he himself is interested to see how he would fair back on the national stage.

“If I turn up to the next ARC round, the first thing that’s going to be on my mind is if I still have what it takes, and I feel everyone is going to try and knock me off my pedestal,” Quinn added.

“So there is still that pressure. It’s always your own ego you want to protect. It will be very interesting when I do complete my first stage back on a national level.

“However I know that if I do compete alongside Ray, who is an amateur himself, there may be some teething issues especially since co-drivers have an extremely important role.

“While we are both keen, there are still a few steps to go through before I can actually confirm my position. I know that it’s a better time now more than ever for both of us to have a go. We need to keep the ball and the momentum rolling.

“If we have a go, I will put a lot of effort in to make sure we get the best out of it and then get to then see where we are at the end of the year.”

The Motorsport Australia Rally Championship season launches next month with a media and test day in Canberra on 4-5 February, before the Netier National Capital Rally kicks off the 2020 season on 21-22 March.