Last year’s rookie driver of the year, Kiel Douglas, has all but wrapped up the 2WD, P4 and Clubman Cup sections in the 2010 WA Rally Championship with just two rounds remaining.

Competing in and turning heads with a V8 Commodore, Douglas has converted an impressive 2009 debut into a solid tilt at the non-AWD turbo sections of the WARC in 2010 with the P4 class sewn up after victory at the Experts Cup last month.

“When I tell people I compete in the WARC they expect me to be driving some AWD turbo thing, but when I say a V8 Commodore their faces light up and they can’t stop smiling,” Douglas said. “A bit like me when I am competing on stage.”

“We’ve already sealed the 2010 P4 championship over the two Bruinsma Commodores,” he said.

“We need to finish well at Safari to take out the State 2WD championship and a good haul of clubman points would see us extend our lead in that championship,” he said. “But it is a fickle game we play so nothing is for sure until we’re standing on the bonnet spraying the champagne at the end of the season.”

The 33 year-old from Roleystone recruited a new co-driver midway through 2009 and attributed his recent success to having a great rapport with his new partner in crime Anthony Paynter.

“I acquired a new co-driver mid 2009 so by the start of the 2010 championship we’d reached the point of being very much in sync with each other and we’re great mates too so that helps,” Douglas explained. “Pretty much everything has all come together at the right time.”

Douglas/Paynter face tough competition in the form of a Daihatsu Charade driven by Razvan Vlad in both the 2WD and Clubman classes but are looking forward to a fierce battle to round out the 2010 season.

“To take out the 2WD and/or Clubman championships for 2010 after winning rookie driver and P4 championships in 2009 would be absolutely awesome,” Douglas said. “It also gives great exposure to attract attention from prospective sponsors - not that a howling V8 spitting rooster tails of gravel out the back doesn’t attract enough attention on its own.”

“I’d like to have a crack at more and varied events in the future; Rally SA and maybe venture into some tarmac events - they would be fun.”

The roaring Douglas/Paynter Commodore will weave through the Mundaring forest and Chidlow at the Western Safari Rally on October 16, 2010.
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