Two state rally winners, champions crowned

Troy Dowel had his first outright victory as he and co-driver Bernie Webb won both heats and all 10 stages of the Valley Stages Rally in their Ford Fiesta. Image: Dowel Facebook

There were championship rallies in two states on the weekend and champions were crowned.

Troy Dowel and Bernie Webb put in a dominant performance to win the Valley Stages Rally while Nathan Quinn and Ray Winwood-Smith were equally in charge at the Bathurst Rally.

The Ballarat Supatilt Valley Stages was the fourth and final round of the Victorian Rally Championship where second place for Justin Dowel and Tracey Dewhurst in their Mitsubishi Mirage was enough to take out the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ 2023 Championships.

With Webb, Troy Dowel had his first outright victory as they won both heats and all 10 stages in their Ford Fiesta. Overall, they were 2:32 ahead of Justin Dowel. That latter was second on seven stages, coupled with three thirds and a fifth.

After a bad start Darren Windus and Joe Brkic (Fiesta) were either second or third over the next eight stages before a troubled last one.

Despite that glitch, they finished third ahead of Danny Traverso/Anthony Carr (Mitsubishi EVO), Tim and Leonie Clark (Subaru Impreza WRX) and Brendan Reeves/Ben Searcy (Datsun P510).

Reeves finished second in the Drivers’ Championship (and won the 2WD title) ahead of Tim Clark while Leonie Clark was second in the Co-Drivers’ over David Lethlean.

The Midstate Freight Bathurst Rally was the third round of the NSW Championship. Quinn and Winwood-Smith were never headed with 11 stage wins in their Hyundai i20.

They won by 2:41 over Josh Redhead and Holly Kilbride (Mitsubishi GSR) with a further 1:30 to Richie Dalton and Dale Moscatt (Toyota Yaris).

Fourth place went to Riley Walters and Co-Drivers’ points leader Andrew Crowley (WRX) from Drivers’ points leader Tim Wilkins and Katie Giddins (EVO 9), David Opie/Kam Baker and Tom Dermody/Eoin Moynihan (Ford Escort RS0 who were the best of the 2WDs.

The fourth round of the NSW Championship is the Bega Valley Rally on October 28-29, with the fifth and last, the National Capital Rally on November 18-19.

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