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Melbourne’s Troy Dowel will be Rally Australia’s youngest competitor when the final round of the World and Australian Rally Championship gets underway on November 17.

17 year old Troy Dowel will contest Rally Australia in a VW Polo S2000.

Dowel turns 17 just three days before the event starts, and will be making his rallying debut at the wheel of a Super 2000 spec Volkswagen Polo. The son of 2011 Australian Rally Champion Justin Dowel, Troy is already an experienced rallycross competitor. He is currently part of the RX Academy in Finland, where he has been impressing with a string of top results. He finished sixth outright and made the final in the last two rounds of the series, and is also lying second outright in both 4WD and 2WD in the home grown RXAus Championship. With rallying well and truly in his blood, Dowel will step his learning up a notch in his first full rally, with the experienced Matt de Vaus alongside. He has previously contested a rallysprint in Victoria. Recent testing with multiple ARC and NZRC event winner, Brendan Reeves, has shown that Dowel has the ability to go a long way in the sport.
“It’s a challenge I’m really looking forward to,” Dowel said.
“I’ve done a lot of kilometres in rallycross events and in test days this year, and the step up to competing at Rally Australia is an exciting one. “First and foremost, the aim for the event is to get to the finish and enjoy what will essentially be three days of testing. “I don’t have any real expectations, other than gaining experience for the future.” The car Dowel will drive is a 2012 VW Polo S200 that was built for the South African Rally Championship, and the same car he’s driven in RXAus events this year. Despite the trepidation of his young son taking on Australia’s biggest rally, Justin Dowel says the time is right for Troy. “He’s certainly shown that he has the maturity and the car speed,” Justin said. “After the recent test with Brendan (Reeves) we’re confident that he’ll acquit himself well, although he has plenty to learn.
“It was Brendan who really gave the green light for Troy’s rally debut entry as he has been coaching him throughout the year and feels he is ready. It’s a very tough decision as the father of such a young driver, so Will (Orders) and Brendan’s opinion meant a lot to me.
“He’s quite familiar with the Polo, so his biggest challenge will be learning pacenotes and pacing himself through the stages. “Will Orders has also been a huge help in Troy’s development and has always produced an amazing car for him and has been instrumental in pushing for as many kilometres as we could fit in. “Rallying is a sport where tiny mistakes can be costly, so it’s going to be a real eye opener for him.” Dowel will contest the Australian Rally Championship component of the rally. He will continue to compete in rallycross events in 2018 and heads back to Sweden and Norway for the winter RX series on ice. There is also the possibility of some stage rallies being added to the program.
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