Guest Ready for Queensland Bounce-Back

Pirtek Les Walkden Rallying driver Michael Guest is looking for better fortune this weekend as he prepares to tackle round three of the Australian Rally Championship, the Rally of Queensland.
Driving their Subaru Impreza WRX STI, Guest and co-driver, David Green, started the year with mixed fortunes in Western Australia but their luck completely deserted them at round two in Canberra.

A number of unfortunate incidents – including hitting a kangaroo – dented their chances of a good result in the Nation’s capital, and they are eager to bounce back on the Sunshine Coast this weekend.

The Pirtek LWR Subaru has been fitted with a new engine and transmission since the last round in May, and with suspension changes and a pre-event test session before Friday night’s start, Guest is confident of moving up the championship leaderboard.

“Rally Queensland is an event I really enjoy, and it should suit the car well,” Guest said. “We had a terrible event in Canberra – probably the worst rally of my career – but we’re looking to make amends this weekend.

“The roads look to be in really good condition. With over 240km of competitive stages and some stages that are over 35km in length, it will really be a rally where the most consistent team wins.”

After two Super Special Stages in Nambour on Friday night, the rally is then centred around the inland township of Imbil, where the service park is based. Using a combination of hardwood and softwood plantation roads, Rally Queensland is a rally that has a little bit of everything.

“There’s some really fast stuff, but also some really tight and twisty roads that are quite technical,” Guest added. “We’ll obviously have to push hard from the start, but it will also be a matter of looking after the car and making sure we’re there at the finish.

“Rally Queensland also seems to have a high rate of attrition, and while some of the younger drivers might be fast out of the blocks – particularly with their advantageous starting positions – this game is about being there at the finish.”

Guest will start the rally second on the road, behind reigning champion Simon Evans. Evans, and his team-mate Neal Bates, will drive Super 2000 Toyota Corollas in the event, against the Pirtek LWR Subaru in Group N trim.

“The lighter weight of the S2000 cars could be a real factor this weekend. The heavier Group N cars wear tyres a lot faster than the S2000 cars, and with only 18 tyres available for each car over the weekend, we’re going to have to manage them well,” Guest said.

“Because of that we’re running a slighter harder compound Pirelli than what is ideal, but we’re confident that they’ll do the job well.”

With jumps, water splashes and plenty of spectacular vantage points, spectators are expected to flock to see the action this weekend. The roads are damp after recent rain, but with fine and sunny weather predicted over the weekend, conditions should be ideal for the event.

“It’s a rally that has a bit of everything,” Guest said. “I’m really looking forward to getting the car out on the stages and reigniting our championship attack.”

After Friday night’s two Super Special Stages, Saturday offers crews 120km competitive over eight stages, while a further eight stages and 121km competitive await them on Sunday.

Source: Team Release

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