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For WA’s Brad Markovic, if 2016 was all about perseverance, 2017 will be all about pace.

Brad Markovic flies at Rally Australia 2016. (Photo: John Doutch)Ahead of the opening round of the CAMS Australian Rally Championship (ARC), the Eureka Rally in Ballarat this weekend, the Kalamunda local said: “We know we’ve got the package and the pace to mix it with Australia’s best drivers.”

“The Auto One Subaru WRX STI has had a complete refresh with a new engine, gearbox and suspension and we just can’t wait to get out there.”

Markovic also has a fresh co-driver in 2015 WA Rally Champion Toni Feaver from Byford.

Feaver steps in for Glenn Macneall whose busy overseas rally schedule has left him unable to commit to the ARC season.

“Last season, I was fortunate enough to have Glenn for all but one round when his commitments with the Asia Pacific and Finnish rally championships didn’t clash with the ARC season,” Markovic explained.

“This year, he has an increased program in Europe with Japan’s Hiroki Aria and will be away when most of the ARC events are run.”

Macneall, the current Asia Pacific Rally Champion and former World Rally Championship competitor, will act as a mentor for Markovic, while Feaver brings a wealth of experience to the Maximum Motorsport team.

“Toni’s competed in state, national and overseas rallies,” Markovic said. “She’s going to be a great addition to the team.”

Last year, on debut in the ARC, Markovic finished fifth overall in the championship.

His best result of the season was in the final round, Rally Australia on the NSW Coffs Coast, where he was the third fastest Australian amongst a field of the world’s best competitors.

Unfortunately, Markovic’s 2016 season was marred by a freak fire that destroyed his car in the opening round, the Quit Forest Rally in WA’s south west.

“Last season was all about perseverance,” he said. “We showed our pace in the first round, before the fire, but after that, it took me the rest of the season to regain my confidence.”

Markovic is supported by Auto One, Castrol, Supercharge Batteries, Kincrome, R-Group International, Wesfil, P1 Racewear, Modena Engineering, Maximum Motorsport and Subaru Motorsport Parts.

Eureka Rally is a two-heat event and the first of five rounds of the ARC. It has attracted 37 crews from Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and the ACT.

The 2017 ARC season has secured TV coverage on Foxtel and Channel 10.

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