Images: TIM ALLOTT
CAMS Zestino Tyres Western Australian Rally Championship
Rally driver John O’Dowd aims to increase his lead at the third round of the CAMS Zestino Tyres Western Australian Rally Championship, the Better Value Tyres Safari Rally held in Boddington tomorrow, June 1. Competitors tackle five special stages, made up of two stages run three times and twice respectively totalling 91 competitive kilometres, and traverse a total distance of 229 kms around Boddington and Nyamup, south of Perth.
With 80 points up for grabs for the win, Boddington could see O’Dowd and co-pilot Toni Feaver increase their tally and solidify the Gooseberry Hill racer’s campaign for back to back WARC titles, or see a championship upset.
“We were second last year at Boddington, but I’d like to claim victory this year and make it three-from-three. Boddington is a really intense one-day rally, so we’ll need to be ‘on it’ from the first stage. Toni will be back in the car with me and I’m really looking forward to it,” said O’Dowd said.
O’Dowd has a clear advantage with his R5 car, which is a level below a World Rally Car and used in Europe in WRC2 events.
Long time WARC competitor Andy van Kann concedes that while he doesn’t have the power to keep pace with the other 2WD vehicles in his class, it’s the enjoyment of rallying and camaraderie that sees him coming back for more.
“I’ve collected points in the first two rounds of WARC, including both Heats of the Forest Rally. Hopefully I will again get some minor placing in Boddington, and who knows, by the end of the season I might have pick-pocketed enough points to get near the WARC 2WD podium again,” van Kann said.
Calling notes for van Kann in his classic 2WD car is international driver Mike Young.
“I’m thrilled that Mike has again agreed to co-drive for me. It’s a big technology time warp for him to go from driving his state-of-the-art Cusco Toyota Yaris to co-driving in an authentic classic 1974 Toyota TE27!” van Kann said. “I try to get Mike on-board every year or so because he is not only a professional level co-driver but he is also brilliant at driver coaching. And above all else, we have heaps of fun and laughs!”
The day after Boddington, Young is on a flight to Japan to drive his Yaris in the third round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship.
Mike Joss and Megan Logue are the first car on the course in their 2WD Nissan Silvia S1, followed by Kody Reynolds (below) and then O’Dowd.
“The stages are in a great condition and the weather is looking perfect for Saturday, although it would’ve been good to have a little bit of rain beforehand just to keep the dust down, let’s see how it goes,” said Clerk of Course Wendy Walker. “Lyster is a great stage, it’s well-formed, longer than last year, fast, flowing and nice and open making it easy for competitors to see where they are going, and it’s also great for spectators. Marradong stage is tight and twisty and will provide more of a challenge.”
The Better Value Tyres Safari Rally starts in the heart of Boddington, some 130 kms south-east of Perth, at 1pm, under the Rally WA archway on Forrest Street next to the Shire offices. The service park is located at Boddington Riders Club and spectators are welcome.
For more information and results visit www.rallywa.com
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