O’Dowd ends WARC with handful of wins

John O’Dowd and Toni Feaver have capped of their dominant season in the 2019 CAMS Zestino Tyres Western Australian Rally Championship with another well-deserved victory.

Finishing The Make Smoking History Experts Cup in first place ahead of the 37 other crews, O’Dowd and Feaver enjoyed a comfortable two-minute victory over Stephen Oxley and Michael Wood.

Behind the wheel of the Truck Wholesale WA Skoda Fabia R5, the victory marked O’Dowd’s fifth win from five outings in 2019, adding to his 2018 championship victory

Following the season finale win, O’Dowd was thrilled with his overall season and was hoping to make it three in a row in 2020.

“If you’d told me at the start of the season that we would win five out of five, I wouldn’t have believed it,” O’Dowd said.

“The car has been great, Race Torque has done an amazing job and so has my co-driver Toni. I’m very happy.

“Our concentration in 2020 will be on the national championship but we will still contest the WA Championship, not only because I want to support it but because I love the pea gravel surface that’s unique to WA.”

While Oxley finished the event in second place, he ends the year in fourth outright behind Ben Searcy, who rounded out the season finale’s podium and Craig Rando.

Despite not taking out the title, Searcy was proud of his efforts in his return to the driver’s seat. 

“I’m really happy with the result – to finish second in the championship in my first year back driving in a very long time is great,” Searcy said.

“I’ve really enjoyed the year and I couldn’t have done it without help of the team, Race Torque and all my sponsors.

“It was really valuable having Steve Glenney in the passenger seat giving advice and guidance, and he’s given me plenty of homework to do before next season.”

in the event’s other classes, Razvan Vlad led the 2WD field from start to finish, securing the round and the title as well as his co-driver Ioana Vlad winning the co-driver competition. 

“We did the calculations and there was a small chance that my wife Ioana could win the co-driver’s championship if Alex and Lisa White didn’t finish the event and we won the event, so we pushed on the first three stages,” Vlad said.

“We were comfortable and didn’t have any issues, so we continued to push in the last three stages and Ioana has come out on top of the co-drivers’ table.

“We are very happy and already working on what we need to do for next year.”

In the class’ second place were Michael Joss and Megan Logue while Gregory and Deeann Flood rounded out the 2WD podium.

Rod Fowler and Keith Mayes finished the Clubman Cup fastest ahead of Keven Hollingsworth and Simon Gratton as John Ludlam and Steven Proctor took the top step of the Clubman Masters podium.

Click to here for more information on the CAMS Zestino Tyres Western Australian Rally Championship.