Rally races to Chid­low

Avon Valley Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

GOOSE­BERRY Hill driver John O’Dowd will be vy­ing for the WA Rally Cham­pi­onship ti­tle when he com­petes in the rough and tough Car­ring­tons Sa­fari Rally around Chid­low this week­end.

“It’s go­ing to be a fight to the end,” he said.

O’Dowd and co- driver Ken Sheil are sec­ond on the 2017 CAMS Onslow Con­tract­ing WA Rally Cham­pi­onship leader­board ahead of the sixth and fi­nal event of the sea­son.

The pair is trail­ing Tom Wilde and Madelin Kirk­house, who have pro­vided strong com­pe­ti­tion all year, but there are still 80 points avail­able for a win.

“We’ve had some great bat­tles,” O’Dowd said.

“What Ken and I need at the sa­fari, though, is a strong fin­ish and a lit­tle bit of luck so we can steal the cham­pi­onship.”

While O’Dowd is a stal­wart on the WARC scene, it’s the first year he’s com­peted with Ir­ish im­port Sheil. The pair gelled straight away and have claimed four podium fin­ishes from five WARC rounds so far.

O’Dowd and Sheil have also chal­lenged them­selves by head­ing in­ter­state to com­pete against the best rally teams from around the coun­try.

Three weeks ago they fin­ished fourth in round four of the CAMS Aus­tralian Rally Cham­pi­onship, Light­force Rally SA.

The Car­ring­tons Sa­fari Rally is re­garded as the most gru­elling event of the WARC and is run over chal­leng­ing roads around Chid­low.

“It’s a re­ally tech­ni­cal rally,” O’Dowd said.

Pic­ture: Gemma Lu­cas, Drift Im­ages

John O’Dowd will com­pete in the rally in Chid­low this week­end.

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