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Wells Cousins Relive History at Mallee Rally
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Thursday, 09 June 2016
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Cousins Daniel and Leigh Wells are pumped and ready to race in their fathers’ wheel tracks as they head to Sea Lake for the 43rd running of the MBL Sea Lake Mallee Rally ARB 450.

Not since the late 80’s have two Wells’ machines been on the track at the Mallee Rally at the same time; back then driven by brothers Daren and Glenn Wells. This year sees their sons, Daniel and Leigh, on track, reviving the family rivalry as they fight for campfire bragging rights.

Daniel explained “2016 is extra special for the Wells family at Sea Lake because, for the first time in nearly 30 years, both sides of the family will be competing... I can’t wait; it will be a fantastic event.”

27 year old Daniel is no stranger to the event, 2016 being his fifth attempt at circumnavigating Lake Tyrrell in the team’s #218 Bunderson Super 1650 buggy. Daniel is hoping to emulate or improve on last years’ second in class. “Last year was our fourth start at Sea Lake. After three years of DNF’s, to get a finish in was great; and to take home the trophy for second in class was special” explained Daniel.

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Leigh, while no stranger to the navigator’s seat off road racing, is new to driving duties, having debuted his #118 Hornet just a few weeks ago Geelong. At 32 years old, Leigh spent most of his formative years watching Dad Glenn and Uncle Daren experience the highs and lows that Lake Tyrrell throws up.

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“I’m really looking forward to the 2016 Mallee Rally” said Leigh. “’I always dreamed that one day I could drive my own car at this race, and this year I am lucky enough to finally achieve it.”

With 10 years of off road racing navigating under his belt, Leigh has plenty of experience to call upon as he takes on the iconic lake. The highlight of Leigh’s career so far was taking out the Australian Off Road Championship title in 2012 with Matt Hanson in the SMU #7 Jimco, coincidently, the last time that Leigh competed at Sea Lake. “Matt and I had a ball when we raced at Sea Lake back in 2012. I know my Hornet won’t have the smooth ride of the Jimco, but I’m up for the challenge” Leigh added.

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While Leigh has been busy readying his new machine for the event, Daniel has had the arduous task of repairing and preparing the #218 Bunderson from its Sunraysia 600 mishap. Daniel explained “our prep work on the car hasn’t been of the ‘normal’ variety. We've been very busy upgrading/repairing the car after we rolled over at Mildura whilst leading our class; but we are ready and excited for a great family weekend away at Sea Lake… and I’m happy that Luc’s getting back in to race with me.”

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The second generation of Wells off roaders is looking to one day do something that both their fathers were unable to achieve; an outright victory at the Mallee Rally. Daren Wells has four Sea Lake second outrights to his name and was unable to crack the outright ceiling. “We’d be stoked if one of the boys, one day, took the outright win, something that eluded Glenn and I. But for now, I’m happy that they’re out their racing together and most of all having a good time. That’s what offroading is about” explained Daren.

Leigh added “with my cousin Daniel also racing, it will be great to have all the family and friends at Sea Lake and look forward to a great weekend all round. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Brad Chasemore for all his help and guidance in getting the buggy to the track. I'd also like to thank my sponsor in DJ Reo Fix Steel Fixing, Thorwesten Cabinets, Glendaren Auto Panels, Lindsay's Tyres, Aurora Custom Fabrication. Good luck to everyone competing at Sea Lake and Finke Desert Race.”

Daniel is supported by Intense LED Australia, Hertz. PMD Race Products, Glendaren Auto Panels, PPG Paint Products, Mickey Thompson Tires

Photographer: Nelson Photography & Multimedia
 

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