Young goes back-to-back in WA

New Zealander Michael Young has claimed two consecutive round wins in the Motorsport Australia WA Rally Championship (WARC), winning the 2020 Make Smoking History Karri Rally.

Behind the wheel of the Maximum Motorsport Subaru WRX alongside co-driver Scott Beckwith, Young was on song all day with the fastest time in five of the event’s six stages.

With 22 crews taking part in the state level championship event, Young and Beckwith’s biggest challenge came through reigning champions John O’Dowd and Toni Feaver with the Truck Wholesale WA Skoda Fabia R5 pilots winning the only other stage.

Despite it being the first time Young had driven in the Karri Rally, it didn’t seem to show as he powered to a 15 second win on the first stage before O’Dowd was one second faster on the next stage.

O’Dowd’s charge didn’t last long as Young and Beckwith then went on to win the remaining four stages and take out a one minute and 15 second victory over their rivals.

Rounding out the top three a further two minutes behind the runner-up crew was Ben Searcy and James Marquet in the Swift Motorsport Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9.

Click here to view the full WARC results from the Make Smoking History Karri Rally.

Following on from his victory, Young was thrilled take out another round win over O’Dowd, who had kept the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship driver on his toes all event.

“John O’Dowd kept me honest throughout the day,” Young said.

“We had a good battle in the morning, but I managed to pull away towards the end there.

“Before today, I have had people tell me that the stages were fast, and I didn’t really believe them – but they are.

“The stages were good fun and suited the way I drive. They require a big commitment which I like.”

As for O’Dowd, who still remains at the top of the Championship standings, he was proud of his own performance.

“It was a good battle with Mike,” O’Dowd said.

“I didn’t get anywhere near him, but it was excellent racing and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Mike is a great driver and hats off to him and Scott for doing a fantastic job.

“I was really happy with the way I drove. I’m usually slow out of the blocks, but I improved on that and came out quite strong.

“They were two fast paced stages. A problem the little Skoda has is that it doesn’t have the legs for the fast stuff – it’s flat out doing 170 kilometres an hour, and I think my previous car was closer to 200km. But that’s not what lost the rally for us – the car didn’t make any difference.”

In the 2WD Championship, Nissan Silvia s15 pilots Mike Joss and Megan Logue were elevated to first place after a disqualification to initial winners Dylan King and Lee Tierney, while Max McRae and Bill Hayes steered their DirtFish Ford Fiesta to second ahead of Jason Lowther and Edwards in the Toyota Corolla.

Also taking place at the event was the Clubman Cup with four crews taking part in the 77 competitive kilometre competition and it was Rod Fowler and Keith Mayes in the Wanneroo Transmissions Peugeot 206 GTi who beat Glenn Cawood and Murish O’Connell by 45 seconds to win the Cup.

Just one round of the WA Championship remains with the Safari Darling Rally to run on 7 November.