Kiwi rally driver Mike Young and co-driver Scott Beckwith have come from behind to win their maiden Western Australian rally Championship over the weekend.
Young and Beckwith only contested three rounds of the 2020 series with what initially was planned to be a one-off event at the Forest Rally in September in a Subaru WRX STi.
However, the pair ended up staying to see out the last trio of rounds, clinching victory in all of them en route to a championship title.
Young’s and Beckwith’s pursuit of victory and a shot at the overall honours became significantly easier when three-time series champion John O’Dowd crashed out on the final rally’s first stage.
Still needing to finish ahead of another title contender Ben Searcy, Young kept his cool and duly eased home to a 56-second win in the Jerrahdale event.
“It was sad what happened to John, and while it made it easier for me to win the championship, it was pretty nerve racking, as I still had to stay ahead of Ben and finish the event,” Young said.
“We managed to build a one and half minute gap over the first four stages, which is just as well – we had a small issue in stage five.”
The ‘small issue’ being a stray tree stump which Young made contact with after a mistake at the preceding corner.
“It was very dusty, and I lost where the next corner was and planted a tree stump head-on.
“I thought everything was all over as I was sure I’d smashed up the radiator – throwing away the championship.
“Luckily for Scott and I, the Maximum Motorsport Subaru has got a nice big bar on the front that protects the radiator from any damage.
“We were able to continue, and only lost 20 seconds or so.
“We hadn’t planned to do all the rallies, but once we won the first event, we thought we’d better continue.”
Young is set to return to his usual Asia Pacific Championship quest next year, with international border closures his primary blockade.