Crocker finally gets the green light
VICTORIAN Cody Crocker is just happy to be competing after a pre-Repco Rally Australia hokey pokey.
Crocker was initially listed as a starter with his Asia Pacific Rally Championship team Motor Image Racing but he was forced to withdraw when Indonesian customs officials refused to let his car out of the country.
With deadlines tight to get the Subaru Impreza WRX STI from Indonesia to Australia and then back again for next month's sixth round of the APRC the team decided to sit out the Australian leg of the World Rally Championships.
However, a reprieve came in the form of the Tasmanian-based Les Walkden Rallying team who offered the three-time Australian and three-time Asia Pacific champion a drive in a spare Subaru WRX STI at the Tweed and Kyogle Shire-based event.
“It's certainly been a bit of an emotional roller-coaster in a way after being on such a high to initially be going to do Rally Australia but we had some trouble getting the car our of Indonesia,” Crocker said.
“I got a phone call from Les saying he had a spare car if I could get some sponsorship and I spoke to some people and they said, 'Go'. So as quick as a phone call I was back in it.
“From there we had to tie up a few things to make sure we had the right suspension and things like and that actually came from Indonesia so at least something could come out of there.
“So now we're just enjoying the moment. It's a bit of a dream come true to be able to do this event.”
Crocker believes it was lucky the car provided to him by Walkden was similar to his APRC Subaru.
“That was one of the requirements I guess so we could have the best chance of doing well here,” he said.
“I needed something I'm comfortable with and something we didn't have to completely retune the suspension which we can put straight on now. The big difference is the Pirelli tyres we will be running. They are very different to the ones we run in the APRC; they are the proper WRC tyres, so they are a lot harder and a lot tougher.
“So we've been tweaking the car with the suspension to make sure it works with them. They will last forever and we'll probably only use four for the weekend. That's how good they are.”
Crocker said he hopes to press for a win in Group N, the Production WRC category.
“We're expecting to finish well but hoping to win Group N,” he said. “We did it in 2005 (Rally Australia) so I can't see a reason what will stop us other than maybe the steering wheel attendant behind the wheel.
“With eight or nine PWRC guys really going for it you will have to be very consistent across all the stages because someone will be hot in every stage. It will be a hectic pace.”
Crocker will be partnered by his regular co-driver, Queenslander Ben Atkinson, with the pair driving the Subaru Impreza that former V8 Supercar driver, Tony Longhurst, used in this year's Targa Tasmania.