Young guns deliver in stunning Winton rallycross showdown
Arron Windus edged out Troy Dowel for victory in the third round of the RXAus.com.au Australian Rallycross Championship at Winton Raceway, in a titanic battle between the series’ young stars.
The pair traded places numerous times across both the semi-final and final at Winton, Dowel striking first in the semi before Windus made it back-to-back wins via victory in the final to continue to energise his championship charge.
Meanwhile, Will Orders won the two-wheel drive class after an entertaining final that saw him battling with Zac Edwards and Matt Lee throughout.
Windus’ erupted to an early lead in the Final thanks to taking the joker lap – a once-per-race detour on a shorter lap of Winton’s dedicated RallyCross layout – on the first of six laps.
That gave him clear track position while Dowel battled with Mitsubishi pilots Steve Glenney and Cahal Carey.
Once Dowel had taken the joker mid-race he closed on Windus’ and smashed the circuit record in his pursuit – however was unable to work his VW Polo RX past his Hyundai I20-driving rival.
Steve Glenney was a close third in his Production-class Techsport Racing Mitsubishi Lancer, watching the two young-guns duel for the win.
Windus’ victory came following a challenging weekend that was filled with setbacks early.
“It’s a great feeling because it’s been a really challenging weekend. My original car had issues earlier in the weekend so dad (rally ace, Darren) was good enough to loan me his so, so we can continue to fight for the championship,” He said.
“We had plenty of other setbacks, but the semi-final and final were just great. Really hard, clean racing with Troy.
“It’s going to be a fantastic championship battle between us.”
Behind Glenney, Cahal Carey and Ronnie Bustard completed the runners in the Final.
Orders’ two wheel drive victory looked assured after he won all three races convincingly, however the Semi-Final and Final were tougher asks.
He only grabbed the lead in the Semi on the final lap following a late use of the joker lap left him battling in the pack.
The final was a similar story as he was forced to work hard to overcome Edwards’ Mitsubishi Mirage and Lee’s six-cylinder Holden Commodore.
With his all-wheel-drive car still undergoing a rebuild, Orders’ has now raced three different two-wheel-drive cars in the three rounds to date this year.
The path to the all-wheel-drive final was filled with great racing.
Ronnie Bustard grabbed his first ever RXAus heat race win on Sunday morning, holding out Troy Dowel in a close fight in what would turn out to be a shortened race.
A turn one tussle saw Luke Anear and Arron Windus out of the race, eventually shortened to just a two-lap dash. While Anear was out for the remainder of the day, Windus’ damage was limited to a broken steering arm.
Dowel then won the final heat race after a perfect use of the joker lap saw him gain early track position over Windus and Glenney.
The Semi-Final was an epic encounter, with the leading three drivers fighting a pitched battle for the full six laps.
Dowel and Windus jokered early, while Glenney re-joined directly behind the open class pair when he completed his joker lap.
The leading VW and Hyundai then set about a stirring battle, swapping the lead twice on the penultimate lap all the while watching Glenney behind in third place, right on their rear bumpers.
Dowel eventually won out to take the top spot for the final, with Windus second and Glenney third. Cahal Carey was a stout fourth, only two seconds from the podium contenders, with Bustard fifth.
Will Orders’ path to the top in two-wheel-drive was relatively straightforward, right up to the Semi-Final.
There he had to work his way through the field and only grabbed the lead on the final lap.
The Fiesta driver spent much of his race watching an enormously entertaining battle for the lead between Zac Edwards’ Mitsubishi Mirage and Matt Lee’s Holden Commodore.
Despite appearing a miss-match on paper, the pair ended up battling for a majority of the six-lap Semi before Orders worked his way past at the start of the final lap.
The RXAus series will be back in action on Sunday, August 5 at the recently revamped Marulan circuit in New South Wales, before heading to a brand-new dedicated RallyCross circuit at The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia, in September.
The series will then return to Winton in November for the season finale’.