Two-time Australian Rally Champion, Geoff Portman, will return to the championship this year driving a Ford Escort prepared and run by Victorian-based Walker Motorsport .
A major coup for the rapidly growing Victorian team, Portman and long-time navigator Ross Runnalls will bring a wealth of knowledge and championship-winning experience to the Grant Walker Parts-backed outfit.

In an interesting move, the Australian Rally Champion, who built his reputation and clinched the 1981 and 1982 titles in a Nissan Stanza, will cross over to the Blue Oval, piloting the arch rival of his heyday, when he takes the wheel of a newly built Walker Motorsport Ford BDG Escort.
Walker Motorsport are currently fielding three Ford Mk2 Escorts and a Hyundai Excel, and Portman and Runnalls will pilot a sister BDG-powered Escort to that currently driven by Team Owner, Grant Walker.
An experienced driver and mechanic in his own right, Walker enjoyed success behind the wheel of a Ford Escort Mk2 during the 1980s, which benefited from working on such cars as Hannu Mikkola’s and Jim Richards’ Heat Way Escorts in New Zealand during the 1970s.
Now 30 years on, Grant Walker Parts has expanded well beyond classic Fords, but his desire and passion for racing classic rear wheel drive cars is as strong as ever, ultimately driving him to develop this new classic rally team with son, Justin.
The ARC’s shift towards 2WD cars over the next few years, the inclusion of classic cars running at the front of the field and growing support for such events as the Alpine, Silver Fern and Otago Rallies are all major attractions for Portman and the Walker Motorsport team.
With the popularity of classic rallying on the rise, Portman believes the Walker Motorsport team has the perfect mix of experience and exuberance to provide him with a winning car.
Still a highly competitive driver, Portman recently achieved third place at the 2010 Silver Fern and took victory at the 2009 Alpine Rally in a Holden Commodore, and is sure to thrill spectators and officials alike when Walker Motorsport presents another screaming Escort in the forests.
As the final assembly comes together, the team is assessing upcoming local and interstate events for Portman’s debut in the Group 4 BDG Escort. An official announcement of Portman and Runnalls’ Walker Motorsport debut event will follow.

“Walker Motorsport is well positioned to capture the spirit and fierce competition classic focused events have to offer. 
“I think the Escort will be more nimble and accelerate much quicker than the heavy Commodore I’ve raced in recent years.
“It’s going to be an exciting, well-prepared machine and I’m looking forward to it very much.”

“This is really exciting period for Walker Motorsport.
“We’re very fortunate to have the talent and experience of the likes of Geoff and Ross joining our team.
“I think the fans will really enjoy it, too - hearing that awesome sounding BDG Escort and watching it driven to the limit - it will be great to have them onboard.”
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