AFTER an early 4.30am start on day one, Nathan Quinn and the Coffs Coast Rally Team are sitting pretty in the New Caledonia Rally.
The Coffs Harbour driver and team representative John Laarhoven are keeping a diary of this first overseas expedition and the personal details are revealing.
Following is an extract from their diary.-
The sun shining at last but with the rain that has fallen over the past few days, it was expected to be slippery in the stages.
This first stage came as a warm welcome with 27km and within a handful of seconds from the stage win.
It put us from 43 seconds down in sixth place up to second.
However, the Coffs Coast Rally Team Evo 9 came out worse for wear, losing 50 per cent of its underbody due to the massive amounts of mud taken on board.
I made running repairs and entered stage six with extreme wet conditions and found after one km that a boost hose had blown.
Managed to get to the end of the stage dropping 30 seconds to Chris Atkinson but still managing a Top-5 time.
With the boost leak still causing dramas, stage seven was to be a throw away and that it was.
To add to the drama, 3 km from the end I decided to throw it into a corner that was 50 metres further away than what I thought after the windscreen was smeared with mud and now throw in a puncture ... became really impressed.
Disappointed, we got back to service and the boys pulled a mammoth effort to get the car back to a respectable condition. …