Mike Young can add another piece of silverware to his decorated trophy cabinet after victory in the weekend’s Safari Darling Rally in Jarrahdale saw him claim the 2020 Motorsport Australia WA Rally Championship.
Driving alongside Scott Beckwith, the duo went into the final round trailing championship leaders John O’Dowd and Toni Feaver by 16 points and needed to finish ahead of the leaders in order to claim the title.
Having already won both rounds they had entered in 2020 so far, Young and Beckwith would have been considered as favourites to take out the victory, but their task was made a lot easier when O’Dowd and Feaver were involved in a big crash on the first stage – destroying the Skoda Fabia R5 and ruining their chances for a third straight state title.
The leaders’ exit allowed Young to comfortably steer his Subaru WRX STI through the challenging blind rally and take out another win for the year and the outright title.
Despite suffering a small setback in the fifth stage, Young and Beckwith finished the rally just short of one minute ahead of Ben Searcy and Jimmy Marquet, who also claimed outright second place in the standings, while Craig Rando and Stephen Wade rounded out the rally’s podium.
Following on from his state championship winning rally, Young was thrilled to secure the title, admitting it was an unexpected reward for what began as just a one-off entry in September.
“A lot had to go our way, so this is totally unexpected – I think the Rally Gods had our back,” the New Zealand born driver said.
“On stage five, I had an overshoot, I planted into a tree stump. I thought it was all over, but I got to the end of stage and there wasn’t so much as a scratch on the car, the radiator protector did its job.
“I thought I’d really screwed up and I drove it terribly for the next two stages because I was so annoyed with myself. But we’d done enough to take the win.
“I’m over the moon. I didn’t plan to go for the Championship this year, things just went our way winning three rallies.
“Thanks to Maximum Motorsport for the car and thanks to my co-driver for his great contribution, couldn’t have done it without him.”
In the 2WD Championship, Glenn Alcorn and Jonathan Charlesson took out the class victory ahead of teenager Max McRae and Bill Hayes, but it was the third placed Mike Joss and Megan Logue who ultimately won the 2020 class title.
Other notable results from the event saw Tom van Kann and Stephen Proctor fastest in the Clubman Cup, but it was Rod Fowler and Keith Mayes, who secured the class for 2020 2020 winners after finishing behind van Kann and Proctor during the season finale.
Western Australia wasn’t the only state championship rally to run on the weekend with the 2020 Dunlop Tasmanian Rally Championship’s Rally Tasmania also taking place.
After 14 months out of a rally car, 2016 RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Champion Molly Taylor dusted off the cobwebs in style, claiming a clean sweep of stage wins in what was an empathic victory alongside experienced co-driver Andy Sarandis.
Coming in second place was the championship’s season opener winner in Eddie Maguire and Zak Brakey, while eight seconds behind them were Stephen Maguire and Stuart Benson who rounded out the podium.