THE Coffs Coast Rally Team won't be on the winner's podium in China after the Mitsubishi piloted by Nathan Quinn and David Green struck trouble.
"The Quinn jinx strikes again," team manager Martin Quinn emailed from the Asia Pacific Rally.
"In the very first stage this morning Nathan had a wheel break into three pieces, which eventually tore out the front left brake line and jammed the car to a halt.
"If rallying was awarded points for persistence then we would be already winning championships, but it doesn't, it rewards results.
"We dropped to 31st after losing nearly 12 minutes on the first stage and another two minutes over 13km straight after, all with only a handbrake.
"In the last stage before the service he managed to set fifth-fastest time, still with no brakes over 25km on a concrete road."
Quinn senior said the brakes and the wheel were replaced and it was back to setting fast times.
"It's really hard to get outright positions because the Chinese championship is mixed up within the APRC times, so who knows," he said. "He went from sixth to 31st and is now perhaps 20th and the team are very happy with his pace."
Apart from the rally event, Martin Quinn said the CCRT bid had attracted huge interest from national Chinese media.
"We had an interesting day in other ways, as the Chinese CCTV television crew were in the service park and were fascinated with Nathan, me and (wife) Vicki," he said. "The people of Longyou Province really don't see many foreigners and Vicki did her first on-air interview when they came to our team dinner to talk to us about our experiences in China and to film us eating.
"I struggle with chopsticks but Nathan on the other hand is becoming quite the chopstick boy."
A lot of energy has been put into communicating with the outside world, with email sporadic and texting expensive.
However, mobile phones are the main device for sending reports back to Australia and the team is gaining experience for a future bid.
"Again, thanks for the support of everybody back home," Quinn said.
"This is a turning point for us, so hopefully the final stages will be trouble free and Nathan and Greeny will be better prepared to put up a real fight next year in China.
"We haven't given in. It's another long day tomorrow and it's a bloody tough event, so let's see what happens."
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