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2020 ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship
Sea Lake - June 5-7     |     Griffith - July 3-5     |     Goondiwindi - Aug 14-16     |     Millicent - Sept 25-27

2020 BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Australian Off Road Championship
St George - April 3-5    |    Finke - June 5-8    |    Loveday - July 10-12    |    Rainbow - August 28-30    |    Kalgoorlie - October 23-25

Dream Finke Debut for Howells Motorsport
Wednesday, 20 June 2018
Source: Toby Cooper
Photographers: Corey Aldridge, Show 'n' Go Photography & Craig Houston, Craig Houston Photography

After a breakthrough 2017, Howells Motorsport entered the new season prepared for an all out assault on the BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship, with a significant focus on the iconic Tatts Finke Desert Race.

On the Queen’s Birthday June long weekend Monday, both Josh #15 and Ally #115 crossed the finish line in Alice Springs with their navigators in front of crew and father Glenn, capping off a memorable debut in the Red Centre.

The Finke experience was amazing from the moment they arrived in town the Tuesday before, from grabbing their first taste of the famous whoops, to the night in Apatula, nothing compared to the feeling of having the two cars cross the finish line Monday morning.

The team’s current two car set up campaigning the AORC for the first time features a VQ35 powered Southern Cross ProLite driven by daughter Ally #115 and a twin turbo Jimco Aussie Special Pro buggy steered by son Josh #15.

Preparations for the famous Finke whoops, spearheaded by Glenn, were in full swing at Howells HQ after their return home from round one of the AORC. St George saw a mixed result for the team; Ally and navigator Sean Marsden #115 continued on their consistent ways completing the tough St George event third in class, an outstanding reward made even sweeter as Ally completed the final three laps without a clutch.

Unfortunately for Josh and navigator Brian Erskine #15, shortly after leaving the grid on Sunday morning at St George out of position 5, a broken steering rack put them out of the event. Albeit a disappointing result, Josh and the Jimco moved forward onto bigger and better things.

Josh’s Finke campaign began with a remarkable fifth outright dash in the prologue before the Jimco performed flawlessly on its 226km voyage to Finke, to cross the line ninth. Ally and Sean too starred in Saturday’s prologue, finishing above many of her more fancied rivals in 31st position prior to a clean run into Finke on Sunday which saw the #115 finish in 40th place.

As the sun rose, and the masses awoke in Apatula, the Howells crew were eager and ready to launch into their Finke Monday. Josh and Bryan delivered another coming of the age performance, storming into Alice well inside the top ten, in sixth outright, and fifth in his Pro buggy class. An amazing result for Josh in his maiden Finke appearance; clearly marking his name as a future podium contender, though there was no immediate time to celebrate as the crew awaited with nerves for Ally and Sean’s arrival. On cue, like a majority of her classy performances over the past two seasons, Ally brought her Southern Cross into the start/finish arena to the joys of the crew, finishing her journey in 28th outright, fourth in class and first female driver home.

Emotional scenes followed as expected for the two car family team who, not only completed their first Finke, they competitively competed with two outstanding results.

With their maiden Finke in the bag, one thing is for sure – Ally and Josh have asserted themselves in style in the pair’s biggest test to date on track, lining up against the likes of Rentsch, Robinson, Gartner, Fellows and Burrows in Australia’s biggest race; something they have been dreaming off since their early days in an old Rivmasta.

Howells Motorsport would like to thank their sponsors Rhino 4x4 Australia, Unicap and Racetrans, as well as everyone who helps out in the shed or on race weekends, making it one big team effort – a special mention must go to Sean Marsden, Bryan Erskine, Eric Hume, John Fawbert and Uncle Pete. This one means a lot!!

A huge thanks must also go to Steven Sanderson from JAWS Racing, Jack Rhodes,Ross McNeil from Desert Speed Lab and Scott Hartman from Fox USA without whose generous help while in Alice Springs we would not have made it there and back.

Howells Motorsport is a perfect example of the family that races together, stays together – both have come a long way since completing their racing apprenticeships at a challenging Colo Park and there is no stopping them now!