I have been competing with my father David since I was 17. In the early years, we mostly competed in forest rallies around Bathurst, however more recently we have concentrated on long distance events.
After winning the 2014 Classic Outback Trial, we decided to build a new car. We wanted something that had all the ingredients required for a competitive car with a standard engine. The club rally car rules allowed us to build a Nissan Gazelle with a modern Nissan VQ35DE V6. Ian Wilson, with help from John Gray spent the best part of 12 months building the car. We completed a number of tests before entering the 2015 Alpine rally. We were very happy with the result of 6th outright.
In 2016 we competed in some forest rallies as a test for the Classic Outback Trial in Alice Springs, which we won. It was one of the best events I have competed in. Great roads, long distances, well organised, and we had to fight all the way for the win.
During 2017, we improved the car with a Holinger gearbox and upgraded brakes. We competed in selected forest rallies and I tried pace notes for the first time. It felt like cheating, and added another element which was new and exciting. The birth of my second child on December 4 prevented us from competing in the Alpine, but it looked like the one to miss.
In 2018, we continued our run of wins at the Classic Outback Trial. The car proved to be reliable, mostly due to the preparation completed by Ian Wilson.
Earlier this year we competed in our first international event, Rally Otago. With 12 months planning and many things that could go wrong, we had a perfect week. Arron Topliff navigated for me and from recce to competing on the stages, we enjoyed everything about the event. The car was faultless and we were happy with our pace.
In preparation for Alpine, we will focus on the suspension setup during testing in late September. The car will then be serviced by Ian to have it ready for Alpine. The goal is to improve on our previous 6th place in 2015.