Motorsport: Adrian Coppin targets National Capital Rally title after near misses
Article by Jon Tuxworth from The Sydney Morning Herald
Photograph by Rohan Thomson
Canberra rally driver Adrian Coppin must think he's walked under a ladder or stumbled across a black cat at his home event.
Last year he was leading the National Capital Rally late in the final day before a wiring issue stopped him in his tracks.
In 2014 he was forced to settle for second, but it has fuelled the fire to finally break through when the event begins on May 27.
The 29-year-old and co-driver Erin Kelly will drive a 2000 Toyota Corolla sponsored by Doma Hotels, also the event's accommodation partner.
"I've been unlucky the last two years; I was leading the rally last year and mechanical failure stopped us from winning, and the year before we got second," Coppin said.
"[Hopefully it's] third time lucky, I'm trying to right those wrongs."
A highlight of this year's race will be the introduction of Lakeside spectator stages in the New Acton Precinct on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
It will give fans a close-up view of the cars and Coppin hopes it will entice more punters to watch the main legs out in the bush on Saturday and Sunday.
"We're racing around the car park at Westside Acton Park, it'll be something different but I think a great spectacle for Canberra," Coppin said.
"We're the only capital city that has rallying literally in the heart of it, and hats off to the organisers and ACT government in making it happen.
Saturday's stages will be held at Kowen Forest before the event moves to Cotter on Sunday.
"Saturday's stages will be very fast and open with a lot of commitment required," Coppin said.
"Sunday is very different, they're very tight and technical and speeds will be lower, much more of a driver's road."
The event is the second round of the five-round Australian Rally Championship after it got under way in Western Australia on April 22.
Coppin is sitting in equal seventh spot overall after bad luck cruelled him again.
"It was a baptism of fire, we had a mechanical problem again but I think it's a car which is really going to suit us," he said.
The National Capital Rally is expected to attract over 10,000 spectators across three days and has been nominated as a FIA Pacific Cup round.
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