State News: O’Dowd powers to WA win

John O’Dowd and Toni Feaver have put in another impressive showing, a clean clean sweep in the fourth round of the CAMS Zestino Tyres Western Australian Rally Championship.

In wet and wild conditions on stages surrounding Kirup, only 21 of the 30 cars entered managed to finish the challenging event.

O’Dowd and Feaver managed to build further on their Championship lead in the powerful Skoda Fabia R5, WRC2 spec car, however the pair didn’t have it all their own way, with reigning CAMS Australian Rally Co-Driver Champion Ben Searcy proving his skills weren’t just limited to the co-driver’s seat.

Searcy and co-driver Jimmy Marquet finished the event second, just one minute and 42 seconds behind O’Dowd and Feaver.

Barry McGuiness and Stephen Wade rounded out the podium, their BMG Autos Subaru Impreza WRX a further seven minutes behind.

O’Dowd said the win wasn’t as easy as it might have looked on paper.

“Ben Searcy kept me honest all day, he was very fast, and I think he’s going to get quicker as he gets more used to gravel rallies. We had to push to win every stage,” O’Dowd said.

“The roads were very wet, very slippy, very challenging in parts. We had a few excursions, a few overshoots, but we managed to keep our nose clean and get to the end. The car ran faultlessly and Toni did an excellent job.

“The event was very well organised, and I’d like to give a special thanks to all the officials and volunteers who did road closures and camped out in the wet – we really appreciate what they do more than they’ll ever know.”

In the 2WD Championship, husband and wife duo Alex and Lisa White took the win in their Proficiency/Sigma Data Nissan Silvia S13 , just under seven minutes ahead of Anthony Chudleigh and Tim Wright in their Ford Fiesta ST150.

Rounding out the top three a further 1:15 minutes behind was Stephen Dixon and Paul Van Der Mey in their Dixon’s Auto Tuning Services Honda Integra.

Round Five of the CAMS Zestino Tyres Western Australian Rally Championship takes place at the Darling 200 in Jarrahdale on 14 September.