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2011 Australian Rally Champion, Justin Dowel, will be joined by four-time title winner, Sue Evans, for the final three rounds of this year’s Australian Rally Championship (ARC).

Dowel and Evans will team up for the first time, with the Victorians competing in the Activ RallySport Volkswagen Polo in the outright category.

Dowel, who missed most of last season and has beenhampered in 2013 due to a shoulder injury, has a new hunger for top-level rallying after competing in last weekend’s Scouts Rally SA in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9.

With his regular co-driver, Matt Lee, sidelined with work commitments, and Evans’ husband, Simon, without a drive this season, the experienced pairing could be a team to watch.

“I’ve been good friends with Sue and Simon for many years, and the opportunity to have Sue alongside me in the VW is one that I couldn’t let slip,” Dowel said.

“Her experience and professionalism will be a huge asset in the car, and while I’m using the final three rounds of this year’s ARC to get up to speed for next season, I’m sure we can achieve some good results.”

Dowel was on track to win the 4WD component of Rally SA until the blades on the turbo broke off and flew into the engine three stages from the finish, but it was the experience, rather than the result, that has left him wanting more.

“For sure, it was disappointing not to win as we pretty much had victory in the bag at that stage, but we also hadn’t done a lot of car preparation heading into the rally,” he said.

“We drove our 2011 championship-winning car, with not a lot done to it beforehand, and it came back to bite us a little bit.

“But I got everything out of the rally that I had hoped for. There was great competition against Declan Dwyer and Warren Lee on some simply awesome roads.

“I went over there to have a good time and I certainly did that.

“I’m now itching to get back into the outright competition with Sue and the Volkswagen Polo at the next round of the championship in Queensland.”

Dowel had offered a $2000 prize to any driver who could beat him and win the 4WD competition in South Australia, and after early leader Dwyer crashed, the prize went to fellow Victorian, Warren Lee.

“Of course I would have loved to have kept the money in my pocket, but Warren beat me fair and square and was a worthy winner,” Dowel added.

The Activ RallySport team will completely rebuild their Volkswagen Polo before Rally Queensland, with two test sessions planned for Dowel and Evans between now and the event.

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