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Doug Tostevin has won his first event of the 2014 WA Rally Championship (WARC), the Experts Cup Rally in Collie. The Subaru WRX driver had a dream run on Saturday and a substantial 30-second lead heading into the final stage of the event, the longest at 44 kilometres.

“We were reasonably confident we didn’t have to go crazy to maintain our lead,” Tostevin said, but he admits ‘we probably took it a bit too easy’.

In the end, Tostevin and co-driver Tammy Adams finished just seven seconds ahead of Davies brothers Steven and Mark.

Co-driver Mark said the boys enjoyed the battle and added: “The event was great. The car pulled like a train.”

Rob Webber was third in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX and John O’Dowd was fourth in a WRX. O’Dowd earned enough championship points to leap ahead of Leigh Hynes and Dylan King into first place on the WARC leaderboard.

Reigning WARC champ Hynes went out on stage three after the suspension on his WRX broke, while Dylan King went out on stage two with mechanical issues. It was a major disappointment for King who had raced to have his WRX ready for the event after rolling at round three, the Newmont Boddington Gold Rally.

In the 2WD competition, Sean Keating (Nissan Silvia) finished more than six minutes ahead of Kiel Douglas (Holden Commodore) who was competing in his first event of the year.  Stephen Wade (Ford Fiesta) was third.

Geoff Leatt-Hayter had provided some solid competition before rolling his Ford Escort on stage four. He and co-driver Paul Helm were unhurt in the accident.

Keating said: “The competition in the 2WD was a lot better this event.”

Keating has increased his championship lead, while 2013 2WD Champion Razvan Vlad still has no points for 2014. He was forced out on the final stage of the Experts Cup Rally when his Ford Fiesta broke an axle.

Andy van Kann was again fastest in the 2WD Challenge, while Carl and Tracey Rattenbury celebrated their first Clubman win for the year.

Co-driver Tracey said their Ford Escort performed well.

“We really want to thank the Lowther Racing Team for helping us out with servicing,” she said.

The points’ leaders, who were second in rounds one, two and three of the 2014 Clubman Cup, finished 40 seconds ahead of Greg Flood (Mitsubishi Lancer), who was second and third-placed Dene Courtis (Toyota Corolla).
Round five of the WARC is the Lewana Stages Rally around Balingup on Saturday July 26.

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