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Thirteen months ago Irish expat Richie Dalton had never driven a rally car, yet last weekend he found himself standing on the top step of the podium in the final round of the 4WD Australian Rally Championship.

The 31 year old from Freshford in Kilkenny has been creating waves in Australian motorsport circles. In his first year rallying, Richie has maintained a 100% finish record, an impressive feat in itself, but what’s even more impressive is that he has finished on the podium in every round of the championship,
 
Richie, team owner of Shamrock Motorsport, once again had the very experienced John Allen sitting beside him for Rally Victoria. John has co-piloted for the elite in Australian rallying over the years and has done many Asian/Pacific rounds, as well as WRC rounds such as Argentina and New Zealand. The pair came very close to their first win in the last round in Coffs Harbour in September, only for mechanical failure to let them down on the Saturday stages, but they still managed to come home in third place.

The final round, Rally Victoria, took place on the East Gippsland forest roads, about an hour and a half south east of Victoria’s capital city Melbourne, There was still a lot to be decided at the final round, with a three-way fight for second in the championship between Dalton, multiple state champion Michael Harding and Queensland veteran Mike Bailey.
             
“It’s a great feeling, we really put a lot of effort on writing good notes and committing to them 100%,” Dalton said.  

“Everything worked really well and the difference John (Allen) has made to my driving and confidence is incredible.”
 
The team are unsure of their plans for 2014, but a very confident John Allen has no doubt in his mind that if they can secure financial backing to move forward, they can become next year’s 4WD Australian Rally Champions.
 

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