23-year-old Dowel is one of the talented young drivers of the ARC and over the past two seasons has netted strong results aboard a series of cars – all after beating the disease when he was just a teenager.
Diagnosed with acute leukaemia while competing as part of the RX Academy in Finland in 2018, Dowel returned to rallying in Australia just a year later when he contested the Forest Rally in Western Australia.
That began a remarkable return to the sport, where the young driver continued his development through many events and successful ARC campaigns over the past three years.
His 2022 campaign netted him two overall podiums in a Hyundai i20 G4, while a stage win last season marked another improvement in his progression to the top of the rally ladder, this time in a world-class Ford Fiesta Rally2.
Dowel’s fight in 2024 won’t be on the stages, but to do something he’s done once before – beat this horrible illness.
“Unfortunately today we received confirmation that I have relapsed and my Luekaemia has returned,” Dowel shared on his social media.
Dowel finished fourth in the ARC in 2022. Photo: Whitten
“My doctors have advised me that traditional chemotherapy will not work and I will be placed in a brand new immunotherapy trial.
“This trial will hopefully get me into remission over the next six months and then I will need to undergo a full bone marrow transplant.”
It’s news that puts a dampener through the entire Australian rally community, no less the strong connections that Dowel and his Activ Rallysport team have made through his success on the stages in his home state, Victoria.
Dowel and his father, 2011 Australian Rally Champion, Justin, are popular members of the ARC service park and have been for some years.
“I want to thank my family especially Grandma and Grandpa for supporting me so much, all the team at Activ RallySport, Bernie Webb my co-driver and friends in the rally community that has made rallying so enjoyable for me.
“I hope to get through this treatment so I can one day come out and compete again in the Australian Rally Championship.”
RallySport Magazine extends its unwavering support to Troy and his family as they embark on this upcoming journey.