Questions with...

Questions with: Chris McCormack

Let’s meet Chris McCormack – a first time COT entrant, an Alice Springs local and President of the local rally club. He’s going to enter Classic Outback Modern, in what sounds like a very effective Magna… 

What car will you be running in the 2016 COT? What is special; what is its history; where is it at?
I will be in Group 7, Modern Club Car – I have 1997 Mitsubishi TF Magna FWD, running a standard 2007 Mitsubishi 380 Engine with a factory Ralliart LSD in a factory 5 speed gearbox. I have built the car myself from a repairable write off I bought about 4 years ago. It’s made up of mostly standard mitsi parts (it helps to own a wrecking yard) and some custom bits.


At the moment the car is pretty much a bare shell, being seam welded, checked and re-assembled. I started by pulling off some panels and doors to check it over and fit a CAMS National spec roll cage. I found some small cracks in the front skirts/rails and before I knew it, it was stripped bare. I have a friend (thanks Jol Pritchard!) seam welding the engine bay as we speak.

Who will be in your team? Who is your co-driver, team manager or service crew? What’s your history as a team?
Not sure on a team yet, Phil Kerr and I will team up for sure, we are still waiting to see if anymore local club members are going to enter. My co-driver will be my 24 year old son Blake who will fly in from Canberra for the event. Service crew is a work in progress, we are hoping to get some helpers amongst friends, club members and family. Team Manager, well the financial manager, is my wife Debra. I must thank Debra for letting me take our shared racing car in this fantastic event – Deb drives all our events as well. Apart from that, its me, myself and I at the moment…

Stripped bare...

Stripped bare… and some work ahead!

If you’re new to the COT, what has attracted you to the event?
It is just too good an opportunity to pass up – a real, proper rally in our own back yard! It will be such a fantastic event and I am so looking forward to it.

What are your expecting from the 2016 COT; what are you looking forward to?
Fantastic roads, great people and good times!

Have you been to Alice Springs before? What are you expecting or looking forward to seeing?
Yep, I’ve been here a while – since 1981. I met Debra while competing at local rallysprints, motorkhanas and rallies. What am I expecting to see? Well, I’ve already seen a lot of it, but I’m sure you are going to show me places I have not been.

Are you planning a bit of a Red Centre holiday as part of your rally? Will your partner, family or friends be joining you?
A holiday – whats that? I am taking days off to compete in the rally; that’s better than any holiday.

Our hosts at the Central Australian Rally Sport Club - Chris (L) and Phil - President and Vice-President.

Chris McCormack (L) and Phil Kerr – President and Vice-President of the Central Australian Rally Sport Club.

Who are your sponsors or supporters?
MOTORmotion (our business) and friends in our local Club. I need to get working on more sponsors soon…

What is/was your favourite rally car?
That’s a difficult one. Among he cars I have owned… I started in Datsun 1600’s and had such good times in them. I also had a 1977 Datsun 200B – the model with Factory IRS. That was a great car – not as twitchy as the 1600. The 1973 GB Galant handled really well – I still have that car, but it needs to much work and more parts than I have available to get ready for this event. The current Magna has so much grunt and it is so stable at high speeds. I have liked them all for different reasons. However my all time wish was to own a Nissan 240RS – I just loved watching those cars compete back in the day.

What is your most memorable rallying moment?
That’s a toss up between two. Firstly competing in Adelaide in the 1987 Tiles Supplies Rally in a pretty stock Datsun 1600 as a young fella. There was 80 plus competitors that year and I was seeded right down the back. I have such a lasting memory of that event. The other was last year – taking the Magna to the 2014 S.A. Dirt Khanacross titles and putting the “Big Magna Taxi” into 2nd Outright, sandwiched between Subaru WRX’s in 1st and 3rd and a monster horsepower Subaru Liberty in 4th.


The “Big Magna taxi” at the SA/NT Khanacross championships. Deb driving on this occasion – to an excellent 7th OR!

What will you be doing to get ready for the 2016 COT?
Rebuilding the Car and checking everything, getting motivated to lose some weight and get a bit fitter, telling my son to get some Navi seat time in Canberra to get some practice.

Where are you, and what are you doing as you answer these questions?
Having a cuppa, sitting at home on my notebook.

Thanks Chris… Please keep us updated with pics during the rebuild. Great to have family teams in the COT – really glad you and Blake will be out there with us!

Other crews… you should note Chris’s business contact details – they might be useful to know during the event! Check out MOTORmotion’s website at