In what has been the dream run for Coffs Coast local 27 year old Nathan Quinn, he and fellow Austrailian Glenn MacNeall have done a fantastic job bringing the Motorsport Italia MINI John Cooper Works WRC home in 8th place outright, Motorsport Italia’s best performance for 2013 so far.
“Ever since we signed to do this event with Motorsport Italia I have been unable to wipe the smile from my face. Of course it wouldn’t have been possible without all my supporters, especially my family who’ve always backed me and also the support of Coffs Coast Council and Rally Australia. After that, it was over to me and Glenn! If you had said to me a month ago that not only would we finish but we would be eighth there’s no way I would have believed you” explained an elated Quinn.
In a drive that proved he had a clear objective to finish the rally and learn as much about the car and this level of competition as he could, Quinn has impressed many around the Championship. Speaking of his approach he said: “After the first full day of stages it was pretty obvious that these guys have been doing this for a fair while longer than me. So, after speaking with *Bruno [De Pianto*, Motorsport Italia Team Manager] we came up with a strategy to drive fast but not take any chances. We knew that if we had a solid drive, we would achieve a good Top Ten finish.”
Driving the MINI has been a steep learning curve for Quinn who has previously been competing in an Group N production car on Australian and Chinese event: “I’ve only scratched the surface in this car. There is so much more to it than what I got out of it this week and now I am just so hungry now to get back in that driver’s seat. To see it packed up tonight ready to leave is something I don’t think I can watch.”
Just as Quinn has learnt a lot this weekend, Alexander Gelvez has also had his work cut out coming to grips with his RRC specification MINI John Works Cooper.
After retiring yesterday due to gearbox issues, Gelvez and Spanish co-driver Borja Rozada were back on the stages today looking to build on their experience in the car and finish the event: “We had a very good rally and enjoyed the stages today. The car was perfect and we could not ask any more. We enjoyed getting more experience in the car and particularly enjoyed the final Power Stage of the rally.”
Team Manager Bruno De Pianto was pleased to have both MINIs at the end of the rally and especially impressed with Quinn’s performance: “Nathan really did a good job this rally. He had such a tall task working with a new car, new co-driver, and new team all in front of his home crowd and competing against the world’s top drivers, but he was unphased. He knew he had a job to do and he did it. He drove his own rally with his eye on his own targets and eighth place with four WRC points to his name is a really fantastic result.
“Alex had a more eventful run, but also got a lot of invaluable experience during the rally. He’s just starting his international rally career and every new event is a steep learning curve. I was pleased to see him safely over the finish ramp this evening and look forward to our next adventure with him. The only thing left to say is a big thank you to Venezuela and its Ministry of Sport for making this happen.”
source: Motorsport Italia