Stephen Oxley has been victorious at the CAMS Onslow Contracting Western Australian Rally Championship fourth round in Kirup in what was a Subaru podium clean sweep.
Finishing ahead of fellow Subaru drivers Kody Reynolds and John O’Dowd, Oxley won the 127 competitive kilometre WRC-style blind rally after a sensational third Special Stage where he was 29 seconds faster than anyone in the field.
“We probably tried too hard on the first two stages and over drove it, which led to a couple of minor errors. But, they add up and John beat us on both of those stages,” Oxley said.
“When we came into service, I had a bit of a deeper think about our performance and pulled my head in. It must’ve worked, we went out into SS3 and had a really good run – our pace notes worked really well with no errors.
“When we went out to do the night stages we tried to take it reasonably easy. We didn’t want to lose that margin through going too hard and damaging something.”
Despite O’Dowd and co-driver Toni Feaver claiming the fastest time on five of the six stages, throttle problems sustained during the first two stages cost the Championship frontrunner some serious time on SS3, for which he was never able to recover from.
Behind O’Dowd and Feaver was Michael Joss and Megan Logue who managed to put on an incredible performance that saw them win every stage in the 2WD Championship class and secure the class win, as well as claim fourth outright.
The Michael Joss Racing Nissan Silvia S15 dominated the 2WD field, as current overall class leaders Alex and Lisa White crossed the finish line two minutes and 54 seconds behind in second place, while Simon Gratton and Richard Harris won an epic battle with Dave and Kelly Thomas to round out the 2WD podium.
In the Clubman Cup, Stephen Mackinlay and co-driver Lachlan Beresford were too strong for their fellow competitors, despite not competing at Kirup for the previous 10 years.
“These are the best stages in WA as far as I am concerned and I loved every second. The blind crests, fast flowing corners and camber is just heaven for me.” Mackinlay explained.
“My personal highlight was claiming my first ever win with all my friends and family there to share it with me.
“If it wasn’t for all of them I would not be able to do this, and I want to thank them all for their help over the last two years.”
With only one round of CAMS WA Rally Championship remaining, O’Dowd still holds a slight lead over Oxley in the championship standings.
Two rounds still remain for the 2WD Championship and Clubman Cup as strong results from both Alex White and Graeme Miles was enough to build on their leads at the top of the standings.
The CAMS WA Rally Championship now heads to Collie for the Make Smoking History Experts Cup on 15 September.