New Year Sees Coppin Making New Connections
After recently announcing that he has set his sights on the opening two Rounds of the East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship, Adrian Coppin has followed it up with confirmation of two new connections for the season ahead.
Having run his own team for the past three seasons Coppin has confirmed that this season he has linked up with the multiple Australian Rally Championship winning team at Neal Bates Motorsport.
“Neal has been a huge help through my career so far, so it made sense to extend that one step further by having Neal’s team maintaining my car between events, and running it at events also,” Adrian said.
Coppin, running once again under his Innate Motorsport banner this season, and will service alongside Bates’ classic Toyota Celica at Rounds of the ECB ARC.
“The professionalism and expertise Neal and his team have in Australian rallying is incredible, so I’m really looking forward to work with them more closely this year in getting the best out of the car.”
“We know we have a very good car in the DS3, that’s proven around the World, so to be able to combine that with the knowledge that guys like Neal and Darryl (Bush) have setting up and running rally cars at the highest level will be invaluable,” he continued.
In addition Coppin has announced that experienced Queenslander navigator Erin Kelly will be joining him this season. Kelly has previously run with fellow Queenslander Matt van Tuinen in both the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, and more recently in winning the Queensland Rally Championship.
“When Adrian approached me to do the ARC with him this year it was definitely appealing. I’ve done a few one-off events in the ARC over the years, but never the full series,” Kelly said on the announcement.
“My aim is to get to know Adrian and the car as quickly as possible and then see if we can improve on his results from last year,” she added.
“I’m excited to have Erin joining the team this year, she brings a wealth of experience competing locally and abroad,” commented Coppin.
“We have a full day test planned for late February, and that will be the first chance Erin and I will have to work together in the car. I’m looking forward to having her input on the team, the car and me as a driver.”
While Kelly has spent the majority of her rally career in turbo-charged, four-wheel drive rally cars, she says the move to two-wheel drive won’t be massively daunting having co-driven to success in a tarmac-spec Renault Megane.
While last year Coppin’s DS3 sported a colour scheme reminiscent of those campaigned by the factory car’s in the World Rally Championship, he has promised that he is working closely with AutoGrafika and this year will mark a return to the striking colour schemes he’d campaigned in previous years.
“I’m determined to showcase a stand out paint scheme when the car arrives in Western Australia for the Forest Rally. A rally car should look exciting standing still, as well as going flat out through the forests.”