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Four Fight for Championship Lead

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Posted on August 18, 2021 Tags:

WA Car Club Karri Rally


THE TOP FOUR DRIVERS in the Motorsport Australia WA Rally Championship are within striking distance to take the lead by winning Saturday’s WA Car Club Karri Rally.   

Ben Searcy sits top of the leader board on 238 points, followed by John O’Dowd on 200, Jack Flanagan on 184 and Craig Rando on 170.

There’s 80 points for a win, 68 to second, and 60 for third and so forth, setting the scene for the WA Car Club Karri Rally to be an intense battleground in the stunning south west countryside surrounding Manjimup and Nyamup.

Thirty-six cars are set to tackle six stages, with the WARC competitors racing the clock over 96 competitive kilometres for a total distance of 198 kms, while the Clubman Cup and Clubman Masters compete on three stages over 48 kms.

Clerk of Course Neil Threthowen:

“We’re using some new roads this year which are far more twisty than previous years and will slow the speeds, but make it more technical.

“There’s still a few open road sections where speed will matter and other sections where drivers will need to exercise caution and avoid the temptation to over-extend themselves or their cars. 

“There’s one large pool of water that will take some skill to get through that’s likely to catch the unwary – fortune will favour the brave.”

Neil Threthowen

Searcy’s Consistency Reaping Rewards

Ben Searcy. Image courtesy CMR Photographic.

“We’ve come second in all the rounds, so consistency is paying us well and it shows you have to be there, turn up and finish every stage and every rally,” according to Ben Searcy.

“We’ll make sure we keep finishing rallies and putting in the good work to keep our championship lead.

“The car is good, we had a few little set up issues the last rally which made the car hard to handle, but once we adjusted the front dampers, we won three of the four stages. My strategy for the Karri Rally is to win it!”

Drivers Champ Chasing Top Spot

John O’Dowd – 2018 and 2019 WA Rally Drivers Champion – is chasing the top of the table after being pipped in the final round of the 2020 WARC, where he finished runner up to Mike Young (who is not competing in 2021).

“Searcy’s done well this season, along with Flanagan and Rando, so we’ll have to see how it all ends up.

“The pressure is on Searcy now to maintain the championship lead, but we’re going to do our best to win.”

“And a win at Karri Rally would be great for me, the team and our sponsors.”

John O’Dowd. Image courtesy Jarrod Sierociak.

“We’ll give a shot, we want to do the best we can, and we need all the practice we can so we can compete in the Australian Rally Championship sometime … when we can get there,” O’Dowd said.


In the 2WD, there are six drivers who could take the championship lead if they take Saturday’s win – Mark Travers, Alex White, Glenn Alcorn, Gary Mills, Mike Joss, and Michael Steele.

While there are no spectators ponts at this rally, fans are welcome to get up close and watch the crews at work in the Service Park at Manjimup Oval number 2 – the old hockey grounds on Rutherford Street – from 2.30pm.    

At the end of the event, competitors will park up behind Tall Timbers Brewing Co for a celebration in the heart of Manjimup.

For more information and results, visit

My thanks to:

Dianne Bortoletto, Pronto PR, 0439 997 075,


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