Kingsley Jones will debut his Skoda Fabia R5 at this weekend's Raglan Rally of the Coast before taking on a proper assault of the New Zealand Rally Championship next year.

Jones has purchased a Skoda Fabia R5 that has proven successful in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship – the third such car to make its way into the New Zealand championship.

Having first had the idea of building an AP4 car, Jones changed his mind and went down the route of buying something already tried and tested.

"At this point I am not excited because it has been such a long road," Jones told The Herald. "It has been over three months since I flew to Canberra to look at the car.

Advertisement

"I didn't physically have the right amount of money to buy the car on the spot so a few thing shad to come into line so I have really curbed my enthusiasm.

"I am still in the pinch myself mode because I just don't really believe I am going to have one and yet the days are counting down until I get to drive it."

Jones, who won the Gull Rally Challenge a couple of years ago, will step up to the top class of New Zealand rallying and, with a quality car, is promising to temper his approach as he learns the new car on some of the most iconic stages in world rallying, including the famous Whaanga Coast test.

"Raglan will be a glorified shake down," Jones explained. "You have to jump on the horse at some stage so that is what we are going to do.

"I have been around long enough to know that I am not going to be pushing it at all."
He will contest the full championship in 2019 and has set some realistic goals.

"I am not a super competitive person. By nature I don't get wound up. I want to do well but I want to enjoy myself.

"The big thing for me is to enjoy having a skid.

"I have set a pretty realistic goal for next year. I want to finish third in an NZRC event and fifth in the championship. Once we nail those two goals off we will look at the next step."

Advertisement

Raglan Rally of the Coast is the final round the NZRC and sees drivers take on two passes across historic Rally New Zealand roads around Te Akau and south of Raglan.

WRC star Hayden Paddon secured his fourth domestic title at the penultimate round on the Coromandel.