The season opener of the CAMS Onslow Contracting WA Rally Championship (WARC), the Trade Hire Karri Rally, was held in Nyamup, east of Manjimup, on March 24.
Maximum Motorsport driver John O’Dowd and co-driver Tom Wilde, who is also reigning WA Rally State Champion, finished first at the Trade Hire Karri Rally, winning three stages and finishing second on the other four in a 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STI.
O’Dowd said that he enjoyed the rally and he was happy with a win in round one, gaining some valuable points going into the Make Smoking History Forest Rally next month.
“It was a good rally with good stages. The long 35-kilometre stage was enjoyable and it was good to get the fastest time – it was a little technical and rough in patches, it had a bit of everything,” O’Dowd said.
“The car ran faultless all day, it was prepared well by Maximum Motorsport and it’s a great car to drive – I felt good in the car this time.
“Tom did a good job - I’ve had him co-drive for me once before and we work well together.”
Second place went to Stephen Oxley in a beautifully prepared Subaru WRX. Photo: Kevin McIntyre
Last year, O’Dowd narrowly missed the title in a battle with Wilde who won the Championship in a 2WD car, making history in the process. But for the Trade Hire Karri Rally and the WA round of the Australian Rally Championship, the Make Smoking History Forest Rally in Busselton in April, the rivals are teammates, with Wilde as co-driver.
O’Dowd’s regular co-driver Ken Shiel is unable to compete due to work commitments.
Finishing 1:05 minutes behind O’Dowd in second place was Stephen Oxley and Michael Wood in their 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI.
Oxley said that they had a great day despite damaging the front steering arm at the start of the second stage.
“Unfortunately that damage put the alignment out for the rest of the day, but we battled on,” Oxley said.
“There was a lot of dust but the stages were good, some fast and flowing sections and a really mixed long stage.”
Oxley said that he would be competing at the Make Smoking History Forest Rally, which is also a round of the CAMS Australian Rally Championship and he hopes to contest the remaining rounds of the WARC.
Nic Box and Todd Payne finished first in the 2WD Championship and third overall in a 1993 Nissan Silvia S13, 1:43 minutes slower than the winner.
For more information and results visit www.rallywa.com
Nic Box finished first in the 2WD class in his Nissan. Photo: Kevin McIntyre
By clicking "Subscribe Now" you agree to receive news, offers and updates on RallySport Magazine.
If you do not wish to receive marketing communications, you can update your preferences in My Account.
We will commence charging your payment method after the 7 day free trial expires.
If you cancel after expiry of your trial, cancellation will take effect from the end of your current monthly subscription period.
You will not be refunded any fees paid to RallySport Magazine unless otherwise set out in the terms and conditions.
Welcome to RallySport Magazine VIP Membership.
Get ready for your rally news experience to completely transform.
Start browsing news, exclusive VIP content or check out your account.