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Darren Windus and Justin Dowel (pictured) have shared heat wins in round three of the Victorian Rally Championship, the East Gippsland Stages, held on Saturday.

In treacherous conditions, series leaders Dowel and Scott Spedding retired from the first heat with a mechanical problem after the first stage, allowing former Pirtek Ford factory driver, Darren Windus to take the win in a Subaru Legacy.

After the four stages his victory was 19 seconds ahead of the Ford Escort of Justin Walker, with Alan Friend’s Nissan Silvia in third place.

It wasn’t such a great event for Walker’s father, Grant, who hit a tree in his Ford Escort RS1800. The impact was on the driver’s door, and Walker suffered a broken arm in the accident. The injury has forced him out of next weekend’s Rally of Otago in New Zealand.

With his car repaired, Dowel bounced back to win the second four-stage heat, taking his Lancer Evo X to victory by over three minutes from Viv Dilkes-Frayne in a Subaru Impreza WRX. Shannon Fitcher was third in a Datsun 1600, showing that he’s a driver to watch in the future.

Windus was equal fourth with the Lancer Evo 3 of Tod Reed.

CLICK HERE to see the full results.

Photo: John Doutch

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