The Opti-Coat Rally Team has finished the 2014 Australian Championship with a heat win on Day 2 at Rally Victoria. A sign of good things to come from Steven and Brent Mackenzie and the team for 2015.
As championship leaders Scott Pedder and Brendan Reeves battled it out for the championship title, Mackenzie and the Opti-Coat team came with one goal in mind, and that was to win the rally at hand, get more time in the new Fiesta and iron out any remaining issues ready for the 2015 championship title.
One Day 1, the Opti-Coat Rally Team was settled in 3rd position after a number of minor incidents with the car's reliability. Steven Mackenzie reported issues with the turbo and loss of power through the stages costing the team valuable time. In the final corners of the last stage for the day the G2 Fiesta was caught wide and bogged to the side of the road. Attempts to free the vehicle proved futile and the team was forced to retire and end their chances of a Rally Victoria victory.
On Day 2, the team rejoined the rally and showed great pace right from the first stage leading the rally by 2.9 seconds to 2013 Australian Champion Eli Evans.
“We decided to take it nice and easy and be kind to the tyres,” Mackenzie explained of the result at the mid-morning service, where he admitted he could have potentially gone even faster except the turbo was misbehaving in his car.
Evans was suitably impressed by Mackenzie’s red-hot pace. “We knew he was fast, he seems to have that Fiesta pretty well sorted. We were probably all hoping he wasn’t going to get that fast that quick, we’ve definitely got a new contender.”
Mackenzie continued to hold his foot flat to the floor, taking victory on the day’s third stage by a full six seconds from Evans and Pedder. And then backed it up yet again on the fourth stage, this time 9.5 seconds quicker than a recovering Reeves.
“I’m pretty comfortable doing this pace I’m doing at the moment,” said Steve at the midday service where he’d opened up a 29.1 second gap over second placed Pedder. “I am surprised I’m (that far) out in front, yeah.”
By the time the drivers reached the final stage, the 2.28 kilometre blast around the Lardner Park showgrounds, Mackenzie had easily clinched his maiden Heat victory ahead of second placed Pedder and third placed Sullens.
“When things go right they really all go right!” beamed Mackenzie at the finish. “After the mishap yesterday (under steering off the road) and the problem we had during the Power Stage, I was really preparing myself for a very long weekend. So to take not only our first stage win but also our first Heat win is incredible!”
Optimum Polymer Technologies would like to congratulate the team on their maiden Heat victory at Rally Victoria, and we look forward to supporting the Opti-Coat Rally Team in the 2015 Australian Rally Championship.
Sunday, 16 November 2014 7:11:33 PM Australia/SydneyPosted in News By