New Zealander David Calder co-drives with Australian
There’s a third New Zealand competitor in action alongside front-runners Hayden Paddon and John Kennard at WRC Rally Australia this weekend.
Christchurch co-driver David Calder is calling the pace notes for Australian driver Nathan Quinn. They are contesting the WRC2 category in a production class Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9.
It’s the fifth time Quinn and Calder have competed together, but the first time at WRC level after previous outings in China, Malaysia and Australian national events.
Calder says Quinn has impressive talent.
``He’s an outstanding driver – world class,’’ said Calder.
``His pace notes are maximum attack.’’
A local Coffs Harbour resident, Quinn is regarded as one of Australia’s top rally talents and is looking to make an impression on the WRC scene.
``We are massive underdogs here in WRC2 with a Group N car against the Regional Rally Cars and R5 cars,’’ said Calder.
Quinn has taken over the Motorsport Italia WRC2 entry with regular driver Max Rendina not making the long haul trip to Australia. Rendina holds a narrow points lead over fellow Italian Gianluca Linari (Subaru) in the Production Cup.
``Our job is to finish in front of Linari who is their main rival and take points off him in the Production Cup,’’ said Calder.
``But there’s also the opportunity for Nathan to be the highest placed Australian driver.’’
Calder says he has focused on overseas rallying to gain more pace-note experience.
``I haven’t competed in New Zealand for a few years. I needed to go overseas to get experience writing pace notes,’’ he said.
At the end of the first day Quinn and Calder were running fifth in WRC2 and had already driven eight minutes clear of Linari.
Quinn was also the leading Australian driver in 15th place overall, more than two minutes ahead of Eli Evans in a Citroen DS3 R3 spec car.