He's beaten cancer. And now rally driver Troy Dowel is set to battle the challenging Kowen Forest roads on his return to the Australian Rally Championship.
The Victorian will make his long-awaited ARC comeback via the National Capital Rally this weekend, having overcome a tough fight with leukemia.
Dowel, 20, was diagnosed with acute leukemia in 2018 when competing in the Rallycross Academy in Europe.
He received the all clear from his oncologist to contest the full ARC season last year, but the COVID-19 pandemic put those plans on hold.
The 2020 ARC was cancelled, but Dowel was hit by a further blow when Melbourne entered a 112-day lockdown - preventing him from driving and testing his rally car.
But the delay came as a blessing in disguise as he had more time to prepare his body for competition, with the young driver saying he feels healthier this time round.
"It would have been a big step to do all those rallies last year, especially where I am from with my fitness. It would have been a lot to ask of me," Dowel said.
"It's quite mentally and physically draining driving the rally cars at full speed. You need to have a lot of endurance, which I feel like I have now and I'll be able to push harder because of it.
"I'm feeling prepared. That's the best word to describe it."
The National Capital Rally will mark his third ARC event, with his first two rallies showing his potential with consistent top 10 stage times.
Dowel will contest the season-opener in his Hyundai i20 at 15th, while Canberra brothers Harry and Lewis Bates have been seeded first and second respectively.
Alongside co-driver Bernie Webb, Dowel will ease his way into the rally as it unfolds because its his first time competing in the forests surrounding Canberra.
"We had a couple of days in Canberra a few months ago to get a grasp on what the roads were like, it was quite a big wake up call to how challenging they actually are," Dowel said.
"It's the sort of rally where you have to keep everything in check and drive in the middle of the road, it's not very wide.
"There's a lot of challenges with the roads, the grip can change quite drastically if it rains or if there's a surface change, like if there's clay on the road or something like that.
"It can get quite challenging to read if you don't have local knowledge. Bernie actually grew up in the area so he knows the road quite well.
"It'll be good to build off his experience, hopefully it'll make a big difference and how fast I actually learn the roads this weekend."
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Dowel contested the Rally of the Bay and Yarra Valley Rally last year, but this weekend's meet looms as his biggest challenge on the national stage since recovery.
Beyond Canberra, he aims to finish each rally of the season and rebuilding the foundations of his motorsport career.
"I'm feeling much better every week, it's only getting better. I'm quite excited for what the future holds," Dowel said.
"[My goal] is to finish each rally and get back into the grove of things. It's been quite a while since I've had the chance to do this properly."