JOSH DOWELL, 17

Well be coming back I think well spray it and try to break something!

> WANGARATTA, VICTORIA

WE SPOTTED Josh Dowell in his AU Falcon track car at the AFF Nats, with his dad Troy and a bunch of mates also racing, wed have a chat to see what makes him tick.

Well be coming back I think well spray it and try to break something!

Tell us about yourself, Josh.

Im an apprentice mechanic from Wang, just up the road from Winton. I come from a car family; my sisters and race motorkhanas out at Carboor with the North Eastern Car Club. We drive a dead-stock Hyundai Excel and we flog the crap out of it just limiter-bash it all day!

Howd you get into racing?

One of my mates told me there was a scholarship out at Winton [a tutoring program open to 15 to 17-year-olds who want to compete at the state or national level] and started circuit-racing out there in a Datsun Bluebird. I did a 2:20 and decided I needed to go faster, so I bought the AU for 500 bucks. I got it as a wreck from a guy who was also into circuit-racing, so he also supplied me with parts. My first race in it I ran a 1:52, and now Im down to 1:40.07!

What sort of mods have you done to it?

Pretty much everything is second-hand. Its the stock 260,000km bottom end with a CNCported head and a cam thats way too big. Its got a cage, fuel cell, Pedders lowered suspension and a Haltech Elite 750 ECU. The brakes are just slotted rotors and Bendix SRT pads, and the track tyres are Dunlop R2s. We changed the diff gears to 3.9s with a mini-spool and picked up two seconds a lap. Its all been built on an apprentice budget, but if had more itd have a Windsor in it by now!

Did you have fun today?

Yeah, heaps. It was my first time on a drag strip and ran 13.4@105mph. Well be coming back I think well spray it and try to break something!

What does the future hold for you?

I want to run a 1:39 at Winton, then Ill rebuild the engine with more comp and try for 300hp at the wheels. Ive also got an EH wagon Im building as a daily for when I get my licence in five months. Ive got a CRS front end for it and Ill rebuild the 179. I want to take it to the Bright Rod Run and travel Australia in it.