Canberra's Harry Bates isn't the slightest bit nervous when he's whipping around tight corners at top speeds on rough terrain in the Australian Rally Championship, but that changes when it comes to rubbing shoulders with the world's top Formula One drivers at the Australia Grand Prix.
"I'm generally pretty shy when it comes to putting myself in front of famous people to meet them, but if I get a chance to go and meet Dan Ricciardo then I definitely will try," Bates said from Melbourne.
"Mark Webber is another person who I'd love to meet for sure."
As part of the week's motor sport festivities, Bates has been relishing a rare opportunity to take his championship-winning Toyota GR Yaris AP4 from the mud and dust of rally onto the immaculate Albert Park circuit.
In the MSS Ultimate Security Speed Comparison challenge, Bates has a staggered start, single-lap race with Jamie Whincup in a Holden Commodore ZB Supercar, and Luke Youlden in a Porsche Taycan Turbo S.
The challenge is taking place on each day of the Australian Grand Prix.
"I go off first and then the other guys have to try and hunt me down over the course of the lap," Bates said.
"It'll be a struggle for me compared to the cars I'm up against, because the rally car is ultimately limited by speed.
"Our top speed is 185km/h, whereas their top speeds are in the high 200s.
"But the whole purpose is to have different-speed cars on the same track.
"It's just cool for Toyota Gazoo Racing to have the car on the track at the Australian Grand Prix and for me to drive here as well."
Bates hopes the showcase event will bring more fans to his sport after his successful season-opener at the Netier Capital Rally at Canberra's Kowen Forest last weekend.
Bates finished atop the podium with co-driver John McCarthy to take the championship lead.
"It was probably the biggest Australian Rally Championship event for over 15 years in terms of the depth of field, but also how many fans and spectators came out to the forest to watch," he said.
"I definitely think already the momentum for rally is very good at the moment."
Two-time Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen was a major drawcard as the exiting new name added to the Australia Rally Championship lineup this season.
The Kiwi driver had never competed in rally before but came second behind Bates in his much-anticipated debut.
"I've already caught up with Shane [van Gisbergen] here in Melbourne," Bates said.
"He was just very keen to talk about rallying after our rally in Canberra competing against each other.
"The goal on the weekend was always to win and we did it reasonably comfortably, which was nice.
"But there's a lot of people there trying to catch me. I've probably got a bit of a target on my back."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Melanie Dinjaski is an experienced sports journalist at the Canberra Times with a genuine love of all sports. She's covered every code from NRL to NFL, and has experience in print, digital, podcasting, TV and video journalism, having spent time working in newsrooms at Nine, Fox Sports and Seven before moving to the capital. Melanie aims to bring Canberrans all the sports news they need to know - have a story worth sharing? Get in touch!
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.