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Sixteen-year old Melbourne student, Troy Dowel, has been accepted into the prestigious Rallycross Academy in Finland.

16-year old Troy Dowel has been accepted into the Rallycross Academy in Finland.The eldest son of former Australian Rally Champion, Justin Dowel, Troy will contest five rounds of the 2017 Finnish Rallycross Championship at the wheel of a Renault Clio Cup RX car.

Dowel has had some rallycross experience, having contested four events in Australia in 2016 at the wheel of a Volkswagen Polo S2000, but is unsure of what the competition has in store for him in 2017.

Throughout this year he has undergone rally driver training from Brendan Reeves and Will Orders, and is excited with the opportunities that lie ahead.

“Rallycross in Australia is still in its very early stages, but with the rally testing program I have had, on top of the four events this year in a Polo S2000 rally car and a number of Autocross events, I hope to be competitive,” he said.

“I have raced with some very good drivers this year and have learnt so much in my short career.

“I am focusing all my attention on improving, whether it’s in the gym or my diet, and I will give it everything I have.

“To be able to learn from the best rallycross drivers in the world is what dreams are made of and I just can’t wait for it to start.”

The championship will use identical Renault Clio Cup RX cars, based on Renault’s latest Clio Cup racers, with participants also receiving mental, physical, PR and driver training.

The Clio Cup RX cars are powered by a 1.6-litre turbo-charged, 220bhp engine with a six-speed sequential gearbox.

Drivers will be mentored by World RX race winners Andreas Bakkerud, Reinis Nitiss and Toomas Heikkinen, and only competitors aged 24 years-old and younger can win the prize drive.

The brainchild of Jussi Pinomaki, the winner of the championship will receive a fully funded prize drive in the 2018 FIA European Rallycross Championship for Super1600, or substantial assistance in competing in RX2.

“I just want to thank Jussi for giving me this opportunity and my sponsor, Ozstaff, for helping me get there,” Dowel added.

The first round takes place at Hyvinkää in Finland, in May 2017.

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