Rally: Hills drivers Markovic and O’Dowd go 1-2 in Collie

John O’Dowd at the Collie event. Picture: Gemma Lucas
John O’Dowd at the Collie event. Picture: Gemma Lucas

TWO Perth Hills rally drivers secured first and second place in the Make Smoking History Experts Cup in Collie last weekend.

Kalamunda’s Brad Markovic, with co-driver Toni Feaver, and Gooseberry Hill’s John O’Dowd with co-driver Ken Sheil took the top two podium spots in the July 8 event.

O’Dowd’s second place has lifted him back into second place on the 2017 WA Rally Championship (WARC) leaderboard.

The round 4 result was his best of the WARC season so far and his third podium finish of the year.

“To be sitting in second in the championship, with just two events left for the season, is great position to be in,” O’Dowd said.

“We went out at Collie wanting to make up for the last round, and we did that.”

The Experts Cup rally was run in dry conditions and featured three stages, each run three times.

“The first run was pretty good; it was a little bit loose in places, but the roads got cut up a lot as the event went on,” O’Dowd said.

“It meant, that, despite having a good set of notes, you were really heading into the unknown on the second and third runs.”

Markovic and Feaver, who are running in this year’s CAMS Australian Rally Championship, won the Collie event.

“Hats off to Brad and Toni; they were the deserved winners of this one,” O’Dowd said.

The next round of the WARC is the Kirup Stages which will be run in the South-West on September 9.

With such a big gap between events, O’Dowd said he’s likely to compete in WA premier tarmac rally, Quit Targa West, from August 10-13.

“I’m not sure what car I’ll drive yet,” he said.

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