1998 Bridgestone Coffs Harbour Rally (ARC 1)

1998 Bridgestone Coffs Harbour Rally http://www.ozemail.com.au/~jhayden/98coffs.htm Update ...

1998 Bridgestone Coffs Harbour Rally http://www.ozemail.com.au/~jhayden/98coffs.htm Update #8 Friday 20 February 1998 Weather:- Sunny and hot (35 degrees)

Visit the web site run by the rally media co-ordinator, Craig Ashdown, at http://world.net/~kneelo

MEDIA DAY -- Seventeen cars were present for the traditional media day held in warm conditions. There was a short forestry stage and the usual (fantastic) lunch and refreshments. Lee Peterson's appearance at the media day was to come to a premature end when the Nissan Sunny broke a driveshaft.

News and points of interest to come from the day include:-

#1 Neal Bates/Coral Taylor (Toyota Corolla WRC) Bates has been conducting some testing, with Murray Coote on hand to provide some assistance in the suspension department. After the media day, the team conducted some tyre testing. There is currently a concern about an oil pump (and I hope to have some further news tonight).

#2 Possum Bourne/Tony Sircombe (Subaru Impreza WRX) The car has been re-built since last year and has a new transmission, but the most striking feature about the car is the new colour, Subaru Clubsport Blue. Prior to Thursday, the team had two days of testing (tyres and suspension). As announced previously, Tony Sircombe will be joining Possum Bourne for this event due to the unavailablity of Craig Vincent. Other news in the Bourne camp is the Peggy Bourne is six months pregnant and expecting the couples second child. The pair already have a three year old boy, Taylor; a result of Peggy being on an IVF program for several years but this pregnancy was a welcome and pleasant suprise for the family! When the pregnancy was confirmed, Peggy rang Possum who at the time was in the middle of pacenoting for the Rally of Canberra - he had to stop and get out of the pacenote car.

#4 Stewart Reid/Steve O'Brien Pounde (Subaru Impreza WRX) This will be Reid's second event in the Subaru since he purchased the car from Mark Griffith late last year. His first run in the Subaru, at the final round of the 1997 Queensland Rally Championship event, was brought to an abrupt end when a rock caused a major suspension failure and the car has since been repaired. It has also been repainted in a dark, navy blue.

#8 John Long/Damien Long (Mitsu Lancer RSE III) The father and son appeared with their Lancer which now in PRC format after a few minor changes under the engine bay. The car can be converted back to Group N format quite easily, however, the pair are chasing some reliabilty in the engine department.

#9 Paul Kennedy/Ken Behrend (Mitsu Lancer RSE II) The Armidale pair have a new gearbox which only arrived at the workshop on Thursday last week. The Lancer also has a new paint job

#10 John Goasdoue/Alan Bates (Mitsu Lancer RSE III) Although he was not at the media day, Goasdoue has a new sponsor in Neal Lowe Motorsport who have supplied the Brisbane team with a full Motec engine management system (complete with anti-lag equipment and a permanent engine engineer/consultant).

#11 Mark Haybittle/Georgia Ebsary (Mitsu Lancer RSE III) Haybittle has yet again appeared with a new co-driver who is having her rally debut at this event. Ebsary, from Tocumwal NSW, was recently practising with Haybittle when they hit a four wheel drive and a kangaroo - hopefully they won't have a similar experience this weekend.

#16 Brett Middleton/Andrew Benefield (Honda Civic VTiR) The 1997 Australian Formula Two Champion has been busy over the last few weeks performing major work on his Honda Civic (visit the MRT Rally website for comprehensive report http://www.mrtrally.com.au ). Middleton has been joined by co-driver Andrew Benefield this year.

#17 Lee Peterson/Graham Legg-Stoker (Nissan Sunny GTi) As reported earlier, Peterson broke a driveshaft at the media day. Before the next rally, Peterson will install a close ratio five speed dog gearbox with a LSD.

#18 Dean Herridge/Glen Macneall (Hyundai Coupe FX) Dean father, Rob, reported that team has performed a series of small adjustments to the car (electricals, brakes, seat adjustments) during the short break since the Rally of Canberra. Rob (who hasn't lost his sense of humour) also reported "that we've reduced the weight of the car by twenty (20) kilograms, but we've now put and extra thirty (30) kilograms into the left hand seat," in reference in the fact that Dean Herridge has teamed up with Glen Macneal.

#20 Ross Mackenzie/Paul Van Der Mey (Daihatsu Charade GTi) Mackenzie reports that the Daihatsu team now have a lower fourth and fifth gear ratio in an attempt to improve their stage times. Mackenzie and team mate, Rick Bates, will also be testing fifteen (15) inch wheels this weekend with one of the pair testing them on Saturday and the other the following day. Apart from this, the car has undergone a minor tidy up.

#21 Simon Evans/Zara White (Toyota Corolla RV) Evans has a new Corolla and after a massive development program, he reckons that this car is more than a second per kilometre faster than last years car.

Other drivers to attend the media day included Steve Winwood, Peter Edwards, Jo Cadman and Rob Ogilvie.

NON-STARTERS At the time of writing, I believe the only addition to the non-starters list is the David West/Tony Best Mitsubishi Lancer.

John Hayden jhayden@ozemail.com.au (rally email) jhayden@gil.com.au (personal email) The 1998 Bridgestone Coffs Harbour Rally is supported by:- Bridgestone Australia - Network TEN - Novotel Opal Cove Resort - Telecasters Australia - Ansett Airlines - Radio 2CS - Toyota Australia - Country Wide Communications - The Xerox Shop - All-Ways Party Hire - Silverstone - N.S.W. Forestry - Coffs Harbour City Council - N.S.W. Police - Coffs Harbour Showground Trust

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Series Other rally
Drivers Paul Kennedy , Tony Sircombe , John Hayden , Neal Bates , Rick Bates , Simon Evans , Dean Herridge , Coral Taylor , John Goasdoue , Stewart Reid , Tony Best , Glen MacNeall , John Long , Peter Edwards