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Former Australian Rally Champion, Justin Dowel, has won the opening round of the Focus On Furniture Victorian Rally Championship, the George Derrick Memorial Rally.

Justin Dowel won the opening round of the Victorian Rally Championship.Together with co-driver Scott Spedding, Dowel drove a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X to a victory of nearly five minutes, with the next four-wheel drive turbo car back in sixth place.

Grant Walker led a trio of Ford Escorts in second, third and fourth places, with the BDA driver finishing ahead of team-mates Luke Sytema and Justin Walker.

The experienced Brian Semmens was fifth in a Nissan 200SX, while Tod Reed was sixth in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3.

Leading retirements included Warren Lee (Lancer Evo IX) with a blown engine, and Viv Dilkes-Frayne, who blew a turbo in the ex-David Nutter Impreza WRX.

Twenty cars failed to finish the event, with only 26 cars making it through all nine stages.

CLICK HERE to see the full event results.

View more John Doutch photos of the event HERE.

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