Dowel commits to full ARC program
- 28th January 2008, 3:33pm
Triple Victorian Rally Champions, Activ Rallysport, have confirmed that they will participate in all rounds of the 2008 Australian Rally Championship. With a full rebuild of their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX nearing completion, the team are enthusiastic about the prospects of competing directly against the fastest rally drivers and teams in Australia.
Team owner and driver, Justin Dowel, commented: “It was our intention to build ourselves a professional team capable of competing with the best in the country, whether they are factory backed or privateer. It was our commitment to go beyond the normal call of duty at state level that allowed us to win the past three VRC titles.
“We knew that mental and physical fitness, car preparation and the commitment of our entire crew has to be second to none if you want to win. We seized a great opportunity to bring Johnny Down, a former WRC and F1 engineer, to our team, which saw immense growth in our ability to understand and fine tune the car,” Dowel added.
“It has been a long term goal that Justin and I set for each other when we partnered back in 2003 that we could build a team competitive enough to take to the ARC, co-driver Matt Lee said. “This commitment sees us achieve that goal, but at the same time adopt a whole new set of challenges.”
The team ventured into a testing program in 2007 that led to an overall improvement and refinement of the rally car, but most importantly, saw a vast improvement in the crew’s pacenoting skills. This has given the team a high level of confidence to move up to the highest level of the sport in Australia.
The team has been joined in 2008 by two new major sponsors - Active Tools from Denmark, and Amcor Fibre Packaging. The team is very excited to be joined by two companies held in such high regard, not only in Australia, but also internationally. The team is just as pleased to have re-secured the support of their long serving and loyal sponsors Red Labels, Symrise, SCT transport, Quality Blow Moulders and Hucon.
Activ Rallysport is now looking to finalise negotiations with potential product suppliers to support them in the coming season.
Season preparations will continue in February with two days of testing to be conducted in the forests around Melbourne. The team will then undertake their first trip to Perth in preparation for the first round of the ARC – the Quit Forest Rally to be held over the weekend of April 5 to 7.
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