Rally: Hills aces gear up for Boddington race after National Capital Rally


John O’Dowd at the National Capital Rally. Picture: Sam Tickell
Rally: Hills aces gear up for Boddington race after National Capital Rally
John O’Dowd at the National Capital Rally. Picture: Sam Tickell

HILLS rally drivers will tackle a track closer to home in Boddington this Sunday after taking part in the National Capital Rally in Canberra last weekend.

Kalamunda driver Brad Markovic has finished fifth in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), and was the highest-placed Australian in the APRC division of the event, which featured competitors from nine countries.

“We entered this one as an APRC team for the extra challenge and exposure, plus any time you get the chance to go up against the internationals is great,” he said.

The event was not without its challenges for Markovic, who also placed sixth in the Australian Rally Championship (ARC) section of the event.

“We struggled through the rally with a few issues, but we were able to preserve our speed and keep the car straight,” he said.

While the Maximum Motorsport team has yet to identify the cause of the problems, Markovic said the Auto One Subaru WRX STI was low on power from the get go.

“We first felt the problem at shakedown on Friday, but we persevered and we’re thrilled to finish a really challenging event,” he said.

“The National Capital Rally has a lot to take in because you’ve got the fast, flowing stages on Saturday and then the tight, technical stages on Sunday.”

Gooseberry Hill driver John O’Dowd said he would take valuable experience from his first APRC event as he headed into round 3 of the WA Rally Championship, the Boddington Rally.

He and co-driver Ken Sheil finished 10th in APRC competition and came 10th in the Australian Rally Championship section of the May 27-28 event.

“That was the biggest rally so far in my career,” O’Dowd said.

“It was really about getting experience and testing ourselves.

“We’re really happy with how we did on unfamiliar roads, especially in our first year competing together.”

O’Dowd said his Subaru WRX STI handled “beautifully” over the rough roads in Canberra, but developed an electrical issue early in heat 2.

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