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Michael Guest has made a triumphal return to the winners circle in the Bosch Australian Rally Championship and given Can-Am its first win in the Side by Side Challenge by taking victory in the Brakes Direct International Rally of Queensland.

Guest and co-driver David Green brought their Can-Am Commander 1000X home in first place for the round overall, breaking the strangle hold Polaris driver Cody Crocker has had on the series in the two previous rounds.

The breakthrough win for the Can-Am crew came after a strong and persistent performance by Guest, capitalising on problems for Crocker just four stages from the finish that cost the Polaris driver more than four minutes and any chance of a third straight round win.

The result saw Guest come home equal first for heat two, tying with V8 Supercar driver Tim Slade in a Polaris, but when added to Guest's second place on Saturday's first heat in Queensland it meant he came away with the overall round win.

Guest's win in Queensland follows a disastrous round two of the series for him in WA, which saw him roll his Can-Am in spectacular style. However the irrepressible Guest bounced back to take top honours in the Sunshine State.

"I'm just so pleased to have scored our first win," said a jubilant Michael Guest.

"We were pushing hard all weekend and my commitment level to each and every corner was 100per cent," said Guest.

"If you think about our achievement, this is all but a standard farm vehicle competing at the highest level of Australian rallying, so to come away with first place is a true testament to both the quality and the durability of the Can-Am," he said.

The Can-Am runners were outnumbered at the Queensland round with ten Polaris entered and just two Commanders in the field making Guest's efforts all the more creditable.

"Winning in Queensland against such a high standard of competitors makes it even more special," Guest added.

Can-Am X-Team manager, Mick Andrewartha, believes it was only a matter of time before Can-Am notched up its first win in the Side by Side Rally Challenge and it was fitting that it was at the toughest round of the championship.

"It really was just a matter of time before we notched up our first win and the Can-Am Commander has now, a testament to BRP, the manufacturers behind the Can-Am brand," said Andrewartha.

The Brakes Direct International Rally of Queensland is one of the toughest and most technical rallies in the Bosch Australian Rally Championship comprising a number of very technical stages, tight hairpin bends, drop away crests, off camber corners and high speed creek crossings which made for a challenging weekend.

CEO of the Bosch ARC, Scott Pedder, said it was fantastic to see Can-Am gain victory in Queensland a factor that has livened up the championship and will give be a spur for Can-Am competitors in the Side-by-Side Rally Challenge.

"Michael Guest and the entire Can-Am team did a fantastic job and were rewarded with a win and I am sure they will be looking forward to the next round in Coffs Harbour in October to see if they can repeat the victory," he added.

"The Side by Side Challenge is growing at every round and we expect an even bigger field at the Snake Racing Rally Coffs," Pedder said.

The Can-Am Commander 1000 X SSV is powered by a Rotax 1000cc V-Twin and has proven itself as not only a farm utility vehicle but in the right hands, can achieve at the highest level in competitive rallying.

Gregoire Dupont, ?General Manager for BRP Asia Pacific, said he was enthused by the first win and paid tribute to Michael Guest's achievement.

"Michael has clearly shown that this workhorse also offers thoroughbred performance and achieving this result so early on in our journey is exceptional and further demonstrates what can be achieved when you have a great product and a committed team," said Mr. Dupont.

"This result will further enhance the side-by-side class and demonstrates what a fantastic opportunity this is for the power sports enthusiast to enter and be a part of the professional Bosch Australian Rally Championship," ?he added.

The final round of the Side by Side Rally Challenge will see the SSV class heading to Coffs Harbour on 13-14October for the Snake Racing Rally Coffs. ?

BRP welcomes inquiries from those interested in participating in the Bosch ARC Side-by-Side Rally Challenge. BRP provides Can-Am Commander teams with technical assistance in preparing their vehicle and the Can-Am X-Team staff provide support at all events.

The new Side-by-Side Rally Challenge is a result of the collaboration between BRP, a global power sports leader and rival Polaris.

The SSV class allows teams to test their driving and co-driver skills in a selection of the nations biggest rally events with the investment to set up race ready SSVs coming at a fraction of the cost typically associated with a conventional rally car in the Bosch ARC.
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