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Eyes on the prize for Newy rally driver


Newcastle driver Taylor Gill is a hot chance to take out an Australian title at this weekend’s Coffs Coast Rally.

Despite facing plenty of competition, the 19-year-old currently leads the Production Cup category, just ahead of Queenslander Ronnie Bustard.

And, with a slender eight points separating the pair, the local teen will need to prevail at the event, from 25 to 27 November.

After races in Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory, Gill finally gets an opportunity to compete close to home, on roads that were made famous by the World Rally Championship (WRC) between 2011 and 2018.

It’s the first time he’s driven on the Coffs Coast, despite being on the entry list in 2019.

“We were meant to compete in Coffs Harbour at Rally Australia, however it was cancelled due to bushfires,” Gill said.

“I’m excited about the chance to drive on the famous WRC roads.

“A lot of them we are using in 2022 formed large parts of the stages for the big event in years gone by, so there will be some iconic spots that we will drive through.”

Due to Gill’s mid-season co-driver change, his partner Dan Brkic cannot win that respective crown.

But, it’s well-known that it is a collaborative effort and the glory will be shared.

“Everyone understands that it is a team sport and just because Dan cannot claim the title, it doesn’t mean his contribution is any less valued,” Gill said.

“That goes the same for everyone else in the team as well.

“Everyone has played their part in getting us to where we are now.”

For Gill, it is a simple task.

Finish ahead of Bustard.

So, he, Brkic and their Subaru have prepared well for the rally, with the car undergoing strict maintenance in recent weeks.

Furthermore, hours of stage footage and other research has put the pair in the best possible position to succeed.

“It’s crunch time in the championship now,” Gill said.

“So, everything we’ve done is to prepare ourselves as well as we can.

“I’m confident in the car, so now our job is to be done on the stages.”

The Coffs Coast Rally, which covers almost 200km of challenging terrain, is Gill’s final event of 2022 before he embarks on a six-round European campaign thanks to his win in the FIA Rally Star competition.

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