Rally Launceston a matter of splitting Toyotas for Quinn

Former Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) title holder Nathan Quinn is looking to this month’s Buckby ŠKODA Rally Launceston to show his car has the pace against the title winning Toyotas.

It’s been a long time since Quinn held the number one plate in the ARC with the New South Welshman having last claimed the title back in 2017.

The popular figure has been unable to string together a consistent run in the ARC but continues to find himself towards the top of the time sheets at each event he is entered in.

And that’s exactly where he hopes to find himself in Launceston later this month after a solid off season, as he looks to have a proper crack at another title despite not committing to the full season just yet.

Photo: Daniel Kalisz

However with Tasmania providing an exciting start to the year, Quinn was hopeful of getting a good result which allow him to continue.

“At this point, I am not doing the whole season but history has shown that once I do round one, there is a chance I do every round,” Quinn said.

“Being truthfully honest, I am extremely time poor so we’re going to Tassie because it’s an event I have never done before, and I like doing new stuff.

“It looks like a fantastic rally and there is more than 200 competitive kilometres, which is important for me as it’s a fair way to travel, so I am quite excited for it.

“I also have a lot of confidence in the car and it’s at what I would call 100 per cent.

“We had fundamental issues last year, but we have had some good testing over the break where we were successful in eradicating those previous issues, so I think we have a comfortable package.

“Based on stage times in Coffs Harbour alone, I am happy with where I am at. Hopefully Tassie is a bit more kind to us and it would be great to enjoy a clean event.”

During last year’s Supercheap Auto Coffs Coast Rally, Quinn was one of the fastest throughout the event, constantly challenging event favourite Harry Bates for stage wins.

Photos: Zed Photography

In fact, at one point of the event, Quinn was the key in determining who would ultimately win the title between Harry and younger brother Lewis Bates until the former crashed out.

Quinn went on to win the ARC component of his home rally, while finishing less than two minutes behind Asia Pacific Rally Champion and outright event winner Hayden Paddon.

With a victory and a solid off season proving a big confidence booster for Quinn, he was hoping he could continue that momentum and once again prove an issue for the two Toyota competitors – regardless of his experience in Tasmania.

“I certainly think I will be challenging for stage wins in Tasmania, pending on the roads that I have never driven before,” Quinn said.

“I have quite a good ability to drive on roads unseen before due to my blind event experience, so I don’t expect there to be too many differences between the first and second passes of stages.

“Both Harry and Lewis have done those stages three times in a row and that’s experience you can’t beat, and for me, that is the only question mark as to how far I will be able to challenge them

“I could always spend more time researching more but that takes the fun out of it, so let’s turn up and have a lash.

“In all honesty, it’s a strong field and there are likely to be surprise packages, but I would be disappointed if I am not the one splitting the two Toyotas at the top of the time sheets and that is my main aim for this event.”

Entries for the event are still open with interested crews able to enter here.

The Buckby ŠKODA Rally Launceston takes place around the forests of Launceston on 24-26 March. Get your tickets and all spectator information at www.rally.com.au/launceston