Windus storms to Marulan victory as Conway takes 2WD
Arron Windus has powered to the most emphatic victory of his young career as he took out the all-wheel-drive class at round two of the Australian RallyCross Series today at Marulan.
Mike Conway charged to the two-wheel-drive win while Ronnie Bustard took the under 1.6-litre class victory on an action-packed Sunday.
It was Windus, however, who was the key winner as he rebounded from a zero-score at round one to get his championship challenge back on track.
Strong performances through the heat races saw him start the final from pole – and from there he edged away from Troy Dowel and Darren Windus to take the victory.
Dowel and Windus scrapped for much of the six-laps to complete the podium, while Jamie Sargent finished fourth.
After mechanical issues sidelined his car before turning a racing lap at Winton during round one, Windus’ return to the front this weekend was exactly what the young Victorian star needed.
The same couldn’t be said for defending champion, Justin Dowel, who remains anchored to the bottom of the points table after surrendering his car to another driver today.
Dowel had looked strong through practice and qualifying however after teammate Darren Windus’ VW Polo broke early in the heat races, he elected to step aside and let his former Rally rival take over the No. 1 Hyundai I20.
Windus senior repaid the gesture by finishing on the podium, while Dowel watched teenage son Troy finish second overall.
Conway and Orders battled hard at the front in the two-wheel-drive final, though it was the former’s experience in the flying Escorts that saw him come out on top.
After building a slight margin early, he then posted consistent times to stoke the car home just two car lengths home in front of Orders.
Kiwi Sloan Cox and Scott Anderson battled for best of the front-wheel-drivers, Cox getting the final step on the podium thanks to a strong opening lap.
The RX Academy driver said he enjoyed his debut RXAus experience, helping him gain front-wheel drive miles ahead of returning to Europe later this year.
Ronnie Bustard dominated a race of attrition in the Under 1.6-litre final, beating home Nathan Senior’s Mitsubishi comfortably.
Unfortunately, consistent performer Andrew Buerckner was ruled out of the finale’ before it even began; his car faltering on the dummy grid before he could even take to the circuit.
Earlier, the Daihatsu Charade driver had finished second in two of the three heat races and the semi-final, making his non-start even more unfortunate.
Bustard won every race he started across the day, though was challenged early by fellow Excel racer, Fionnan McCallan.
Earlier, three different winners from the three heat races highlighted the competitive all-wheel-drive field at Marulan this weekend.
Arron Windus took heat one after a tough battle with Steve Glenney, while Darren Windus took the third.
The second heat was the highlight, however, as Troy Dowel and Glenney battled to a thrilling finish.
With Glenney taking his Joker lap on the final of four tours, his added momentum saw him edge past the leader at the line by just 0.080 seconds; the third-closet finish in RXAus history.
Unfortunately, Glenney was forced out of the meeting from that point with Arron Windus taking the semi-final victory. Troy Dowel and Darren Windus battled for second, the Polo edging out Hyundai by six-tenths.
Mike Conway dominated the trio of two-wheel drive heat races, beating Will Orders’ Millington Escort home in each.
Scott Anderson finished second in the first and second heat races, beaten to the final step on the podium by Kiwi interloper Sloan Cox in the third.
He then beat Orders in the Semi-Final to set his run up to the Final perfectly, Anderson edging out Cox after a close battle.
The second round of the RXaus.com.au series was staged at the stunningly re-built Marulan circuit in country New South Wales.
Significant investment has seen the circuit transformed with a new layout, a purpose-built RX dirt section and impressive new facilities.
RXAus was honoured to be the first to run at the brand-new circuit, with the bitumen still only fresh this weekend.
RXAus will return to Marulan in August this year, for round four of the 2018 series, while the next round will be held at Winton Raceway in late July.