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The fierce battle for WA Rally Championship honours will hit high speeds near Balingup on Saturday July 27 for the LRT Custom Engineering Lewana Stages.

The fast flowing nature of the gravel roads around the old Grimwade town site means drivers are able to maintain high speeds from corner to corner and the event provides spectacular vantage points for rally fans.

The LRT Lewana Stages is round four of the WARC for Outright competition currently led by Leigh Hynes. The Busselton-based Subaru WRX driver is aiming to make it three in row after taking out the Trade Hire Donnelly Rally in May and the Experts Cup Rally in June.

Challenging Hynes for stage times will be young gun Dylan King who’s keen to make up for a drama-filled last round. At the Experts Cup Rally, King’s WRX was struck with mechanical issues from the start and he could only manage ninth Outright.

The disappointing result meant King, who had been leading the championship, slipped to second place.

King said his team had been busy getting the car ready for the LRT Lewana Stages: “We’re currently building a new motor and a new rear diff.”

He said his goal was to make sure he finished in a good position.

Likewise, John O’Dowd, who’s in third place on the point score and also competing in a WRX, said he’s keen for more championship points.

“Our goal is to finish the year off well. A good result for the sponsors and all the hard working boys at Maximum Motorsport would be great.”

The LRT Lewana Stages is the second last event of the year for Outright competitors but the third last for the 2WD and Clubman Cup teams who have an extra event in November.

The extra event gives Sean Keating, who was forced to retire his Nissan Silvia from the Experts Cup Rally after just one stage, more time to get back to the top of the 2WD leader board.

He’s aiming for a strong finish in the LRT Lewana Stages: “Fingers crossed with a brand new gearbox fitted to the Silvia, I can come out swinging and take some seconds off my rival Razvan Vlad. Well, at least try.”

Vlad, competing in a Ford Fiesta, leads the 2WD championship followed by Keating and then Alex White, also in a Silvia.

In the battle for Clubman Cup honours, Steve Vass in a Datsun 1600 remains at the top of the leader board despite failing to finish in the top three at the Experts Cup Rally after experiencing engine troubles.

Behind Vass, a tight battle for points ensues between Nathan Pearce and Jason Lowther, both competing in Toyota Corollas and Carl Rattenbury in a Ford Escort.

The best spectator points at the LRT Lewana Stages are the Roo Dog stage, where fans can see the first four kilometres of racing from one spot, and the Poker stage which has a spectacular jump.

The Lewana Stages rally kicks off on Saturday 27th July at 1pm from the Jim MacDonald Oval on South Western Highway, Kirup. 
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