Round 4 of the 2022 Australian Rally Championship season at Rally Queensland may have been called off two weekends ago on the 24-26th last month due to flooding over in Gympie, QLD at the time. But I’m delighted to catch up with one of the current drivers in this competition in Troy Dowel, who drives the No.4 Hyundai i20 RX with co-driver Bernie Webb for Proto Cars Australia.
1. How prepared were you heading to Gympie QLD before the Rally Queensland event was cancelled over the weekend beyond the organiser’s control?
We were feeling fairly prepared for gympie as we had competed in about half of the stages for this year’s event the previous year. However I believe one of the most important aspects of our preparations for Rally Queensland was the decent results we got back in Western Australia & Tasmania and being able to carry that momentum into the next round.
2. .You & your co-driver Bernie Webb are currently sitting 4th in the Drivers’ Standings after 3 rounds, how good was it to bounce back from the opening round in ACT to potentially challenging the Bates brothers and Richie & Dale in the Shamrock car after back-to-back 4th placed finishes in WA & Launceston?
Yeah it was definitely a good feeling bouncing back from Canberra, it is all about building experience for us this year so it is nice for our pace to begin to get a little closer to the front runners however we still have a long way to go until we can start challenging them consistently but I believe we are definitely on the right path.
3. Looking ahead to Rally Gippsland in a few weeks’ time, what are your favourite and not so favourite stages to tackle over in Victoria?
Most of the stages are pretty good in Victoria so I don’t think I really have any unfavourable stages, however my favourite stages to tackle in Victoria are definitely Yarra Valley stages such as Mt Slide.
4. Now I don’t know if you follow the World Rally Championship or not, but what’s your favourite memories of Rally Australia growing up and whether or not if you will take part as a driver should the event return in 2023 or 2024?
My favourite memory of Rally Australia was when I made my rally debut in 2017, I had a lot of good memories from that event and even managed to get my first ARC stage win on a super special stage. I think if the event did return we would definitely take part. It is always a highlight of the year.
5. And do you have any other rallying stints going on other than the ARC later this season and where do I keep up to date with your career on social media?
We thank Troy for his time to respond to a few questions on the Sports Benches blog. Good luck to him for the rest of the year with his Rallying activities, as you can catch Troy in action next Saturday for the Rally of the Bay at Batesmans Bay in Regional NSW before the ARC resumes for Round 5 of 7 on Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th August in Gippsland, VIC.