SEASON 2014 is over for Michael Boaden, the frustrated Volkswagen Polo driver pulling the pin after failing to repair a faulty oil cooler, which ground his car to a halt within sight of the finish line at September’s Rally Australia.
“I said straight after Rally Australia that if there was damage then that would be it for the year. I could have fixed the engine but what would be the point, we’re not in contention for the title, there was nothing to be gained by going to Victoria,” Boaden said.
“We knew the problem was with the oil cooler, but until we pulled the engine apart we didn’t know if there was more damage.”
Boaden believes he stopped the car just in time at Rally Australia, with grazing to the number three conrod caused by the problems with the oil filter doing enough damage to force him out of the final round of the championship in Victoria.
Currently sixth in the points standings on 115 points, to Championship leader Scott Pedder’s 390 points, a disappointed Boaden said he felt let down by a simple ancillary component.
“A crack in a brand new oil cooler is the culprit, the engine itself was performing brilliantly,” he said. “That’s what’s frustrating for me, it’s still got me feeling pretty deflated.”
Boaden has promised to get the Polo’s engine back to full health but admits that his future with the car remains unclear.
“It’s a great car, great fun to drive, but maybe for me it’s time to sit back for a while and work out where rallying is going for me,” Boaden said.
“I’m not saying I won’t run the car again, however if someone was interested in buying it then I’d move it on.”
The frustration for Boaden is that the progress he was making with the VW Polo was beginning to yield results, his stage times at Rally Australia well on par with his rivals.
“I know I can be on the pace of the Citroen’s, we proved that pace at Rally Oz. That bits disappointing for me, we began to show what we could do, and the result was right there,” he said.
“Rallying is about having fun,” he continued. “I think I need to find that again, having fun.”