Australian Rally Championship Round 5 - Melbourne, Vic Mitsubishi Evo 5 driver Spencer Lowndes says Rally Melbourne will produce the best rally action seen in the Australian Rally Championship this year and plans to take the privateer win from...
Australian Rally Championship Round 5 - Melbourne, Vic
Mitsubishi Evo 5 driver Spencer Lowndes says Rally Melbourne will produce the best rally action seen in the Australian Rally Championship this year and plans to take the privateer win from his rivals, in a forest he says is a familiar 'backyard'.
Lowndes has been a lucky man this year. The factory Mitsubishi Team picked him up for the junior development program at Rally Queensland and at Rally South Australia and the young Victorian says the opportunity has spurred him on.
"I've got the taste for success now and everything we're doing in our own team reflects what I've learnt this year from Mitsubishi. It's been a great opportunity to work with Ralliart and now I'm back with my own team, I'm craving that success just as much, "Lowndes explained.
Lowndes has had a ding-dong battle in the Privateer Cup all year and grabbing the win from tough competition at the last round in Tasmania has inspired him to continue his winning form.
"We've got some tough competition in Melbourne and the battle for honours will be close. Herridge is our biggest threat but there's more than one team after the win," Lowndes said
"Melbourne's my backyard. I spent a fair bit of time throwing the old Escort round this forest and even though this year's course is different, I think that when you're on familiar turf, you can relax into the roads and the rally more easily."
Lowndes is currently sixth in the championship, one point ahead of fellow Mitsubishi driver Mark Thompson who is chasing Lowndes for the spot.
Lowndes has had a much cleaner run this year and because he missed the first round in Perth, is yet to score a 'worst round'. This means his position in the championship is true and not dependant on dropping a round. It also means he has to continue his trouble free run with no 'spares' up his sleeve.
"We've been fast this year and haven't put a foot wrong. Having spent time with Ralliart I've seen how the professionals work and have converted what I've learnt into running my own team more professionally," Lowndes said.
"I'm looking forward to getting into a familiar forest. We've done some development on the car in the last few weeks and am confident Chris (co-driver Chris Randell) and I will do well at home."
Lowndes has comprehensive testing planned this week and is looking forward to ironing out last minute bugs in his Mitsubishi Evo 5. He joins the other top seeds of the championship at the media day on Thursday 30 August before hitting the forests on Saturday September 1.
RALLY MELBOURNE DETAILS
The Aussie Duct Rally of Melbourne is a two day event, running as separate heats on Saturday and Sunday.
It comprises 91.05 competitive kilometres over five stages on both days and runs around the Yarra Valley.
The finale on both days will be the spectator friendly stage at DeBortoli Winery.