During Rally Australia, Citroën Australia unveiled their plans to run two cars in the Australian Rally Championship for 2014.
Over the last two years the face of the Australian Rally Championship has changed and progressed forward with the introduction of the 2WD Championship, the rules are simple, any car, as long as it is 2WD, that’s front or rear, from there you fit in to various sub category classes.
In 2010 Honda entered the championship as a single car team running a Front-wheel drive Civic Type R, somewhat of a gamble or perhaps they (Honda) can read the future.
In 2012 Honda expanded their presence with more of a factory team under the Honda, Evans Motorsport and Pedders Suspension banners, running two Honda Jazz G2 spec cars.
Honda competing and doing so well has paved the way for other manufacturers to enter the championship.
In 2013 Renault entered 2 Clio R3’s, Ford backed the Innate Motorsport team with 2 Ford Fiesta R2’s and now there are rumours that in 2014 Kia will also be entering the championship, it is however certain that Citroën Australia will be entering the ARC for the first time as a factory team under the Management of Ron Cremen with current Innate Motorsport Team members Adrian Coppin and Tim Batten and successful Rally competitors Tony Sullens and Julia Barkley entering the championship as a two car Citroën DS3RT team known as Team Citroën Australia.
This past year I have worked closely with the Innate team and Adrian Coppin and have been privy to this news for quite some time, it is a huge step forward not only for Adrian, Tony and their teams but also for the ARC and Rallying in Australia, for a successful European Car Manufacturer to see value in the Championship it may just pave the way, like Honda has for others to see value and step up.
I asked Adrian what his thoughts where on not only the announcement but how it benefits him, his team and how it will change the ARC.
Adrian: “It’s obviously very exciting for me to be apart of Team Citroen Australia and be involved with a company and brand such as Citroen, it’s a good feeling knowing all your hard work pays off and is noticed by someone like Citroen. I also think its a big boost for the ARC to have a factory such as Citroen and its history in rally to support the ARC.”
Lets see what 2014 has in store for the Australian Rally Championship