Ally Howells will be aiming for an even bigger and better 2019 campaign after replacing her previous Southern Cross buggy for a brand new Jimco.
The change comes after Howells raced her previous #115 buggy for two years, which included a stellar 2018 season where she finished runner-up in the Pro-lite class and in the top 10 outright.
With Howells’ brother Josh already driving a Jimco in the Pro Buggy class of the BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship and finishing third outright last year, Howells Motorsport decided it was time to make the switch and get Howells a stronger vehicle.
While one of the contributing factors was to make her more competitive, Howells admitted part of the decision was about making life easier on the team.
“It’s bigger and stronger than the #115, so our plan was to get two cars as similar as we can and there is now a bit more we can cross-contaminate,” Howells said.
“Another reason was to make it easier for dad to help us race because having different cars meant everything else was different in terms of parts and I couldn’t share anything with my brother.
“Now that we have a similar set up in terms of cars, we can share parts and we don’t have to prepare as much spares because of it.
“Another benefit is the new car is 300 kilos heavier than the old because there is 300 kilos more metal in it for strength and support, which means I should have less trouble throughout the year.”
Despite the purchase of a stronger car, Howells still wants to compete in the Pro-lite class, meaning the family’s vehicles will once again be competing in different classes and not against each other.
Ahead of the new season, the New South Wales based driver believes the new Jimco will make her competitive in both class and outright.
“I am definitely happy and content in the Pro-lite class,” Howells added.
“There are a lot of similarities as I still have the same speed and power as Josh but the main difference is just top end speed.
“This new car can handle more and once I learn how to drive it, I hope I will be more competitive and in a position to climb the ranks.
“Even though, I drove the #115 to Finke and back, I had to keep in mind that the car had limitations and I had to drive within them, but now I shouldn’t have this problem.”
As Howells’ preparation for 2019 continues, her main focus will be to fine tune her skills behind the wheel of the new Jimco.
With the purchase expected to allow the 26-year-old to improve dramatically on track, she is also aware that an improvement like this will not happen again any time soon.
“Well I know for a fact that I am going to be driving this for a while because my dad is adamant that it’s going to be more than two years,” Howells joked.
“I don’t think we can get any bigger or better than now.
“I love the colour white so I can confirm that the car will be white with the teal Howells Motorsport logo on it.”
The 2019 BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship kicks off in April with the St George 399 on 5-7 April.