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The sixth and final round of the WA Rally Championship’s Outright competition will be a test of endurance.The notoriously-demanding Carringtons Traffic Services Safari will be held around Chidlow and Mundaring on Saturday, October 11.

Several of WA’s top rally drivers, including reigning champion Leigh Hynes (Subaru WRX), will be pushing hard to claim the 2014 Championship which will be calculated as the best of five from six rounds.

Although yet to win a round, John O’Dowd (Subaru WRX) leads the pointscore and is one of just a few drivers to have taken points from every WARC event this season.

“To win the championship this year would be great for the sponsors and the hard working boys at Maximum Motorsport that have given me a fantastic car to drive again this year,” he said.

“The tactic will be to go out and commit to a good set of notes and have fun like we always do.”

“Ben Searcy, who has been co driving for me for a number of years and has a great deal of experience, will be an important part of achieving this.”

Doug Tostevin (Subaru WRX) is also chasing championship honours and admitted he regretted missing round three of the WARC, the Newmont Boddington Gold Rally, because having competed could have put him in ‘a much better position’ with points.

Meanwhile, Cameron Tunstall, who started the 2014 season as a 2WD competitor, will run the Subaru WRX he debuted in the Outright competition at round five, the LRT Lewana Stages.

“We have done some good testing to learn the car between then and now and we are hoping for a good result at the Safari,” he said.

In the 2WD Championship, which has its final round in November, Sean Keating (Nissan Silvia) has an unassailable lead on points and Andy van Kann (Toyota Corolla) has already claimed second place as well as the 2014 2WD Challenge.

Keating said the Carringtons Traffic Services Safari would act as a test for the ‘huge changes’ he had made to his car’s suspension set up.

“It doesn’t really matter if it makes the car slower for a few stages, but let’s hope it improves my speed by the end of the day,” he said.

In the Clubman Cup, points’ leader Carl Rattenbury (Ford Escort) will be looking to protect his lead on the series, while rookie driver Shane Harmer has put power steering in his Holden Commodore to ‘help handle the ruts better’.

“Hopefully, that will help us out with our little battle against (Andrew) Percival for rookie points,” Harmer said.

Last year’s Clubman Cup Champion Mark Travers will hop in the co-driver’s seat for Mathew Gerdei (Datsun 180B) and brothers Ross and Ashley Burton will make their return to the competition in a Toyota Corolla.

The Carringtons Traffic Services Safari starts from the Chidlow Tavern on Thomas Street, just off the Old Northam Road, from 1pm on Saturday October 11.

 

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