Quinn gets China call
CHINESE dust and grit will bring tears to the eyes of Coffs Coast Rally Team drivers Nathan Quinn and David Green.
The pair will compete in the sixth and final round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship, to be held at Longyou County in Zhejiang Province, China, on November 4-6 in front of an audience of 1.5 billion people.
Quinn hit the big time in the recent Rally Australia round by setting eight fastest-stage times, but was noticed by the right people earlier in the year when competing in the Asia Pacific championship in Queensland, New Caledonia and New Zealand.
But this time the CCRT car will stay at home, after Quinn's team took a call from Wan Yu Autosports Club chairman and team owner Fan Fan not long after the WRC.
"I am very pleased to confirm that arrangements have been finalised for Nathan Quinn and David Green to drive one of our Soueast Motor Kumho team Mitsubishi vehicles in China," Fan Fan said.
"We will be preparing a car especially for Nathan, to ensure that he is at complete comfort, to show to us his speed and commitment demonstrated earlier this year."
Team manager Martin Quinn was gob-smacked to receive the call.
"This is a very surreal time for us," he said.
"It's the first step of what I am sure will be a very successful career for Nathan and Greeny.
"It could never have happened without the full support and commitment of his ever-passionate volunteer team, who have battled the odds, and dad's dwindling budget for the last five years.
"Also, it would not have been possible without the foresight and commitment of the many backers who fund Coffs Coast Rally Team, allowing it to get overseas and be noticed."
The Chinese Soueast Motor team was formed in a partnership involving Mitsubishi and Kumho Tyres.
The team has specially designed and put together a right-hand drive EVO-9 rally car and a lot of careful thought and effort has been put in to suit Quinn's driving style.
"I just can't believe it," the young driver said.
"We have been competing against this team and all our boys kept saying how great it would be to be in that team.
"It looks strong, professional and well-supported and now here we are going to China to help them with their championship title."
While this is a very big deal, Quinn senior said there was a lot at stake.
"Nathan must get around the language barrier and communicate effectively with the team to be successful," he said.
"Communication is critical and it's about the only thing that could stop this opportunity.
"In the past, where he would get down and dirty with the boys, he must now realise the need to utilise the impressive resources at his disposal.
"He has to think big."
The drivers and Quinn's parents leave for Shanghai on Saturday and will inspect the car the following day.
There are just two days of testing, two days to check the course and three days of competition.