Marcus and Scott Walkem successfully completed the debut event in their new Peugeot 208 AP4, 12 months after they purchased the car. Competing in last weekend's Subaru Rally Tasmania, the Walkem brothers drove the ex-Mark Pedder car that the Race Torque team had previously run in the 2016 Australian Rally Championship. Walkem purchased the car and his team then set about with the rebuild. "It's taken quite a bit longer to get the car to the first event than we initially hoped, but it's been worth it," Marcus said before the rally.
"We've rebuilt everything in the car in that time, and have recently completed 30 laps of Symmons Plains Raceway, and 50km of gravel testing in the lead up to this event."
It didn't take Walkem long to comes to grips with the sweet-sounding Peugeot, and by the end of the first Heat of the rally he had moved the car into an impressive fourth place. "It's been a big learning curve," Marcus explained.

Marcus Walkem debuted the Peugeot 208 AP4 at Rally Tasmania. Photo: Peter Whitten

"This car is left hand drive as well, so that's been another thing to learn, but we are here now and we've had a good day." Day two presented even more challenges, with torrential rain and slippery stages adding to the battle to drive quickly, yet safely. Another strong showing netted sixth place in the Heat, with a fifth place overall finish in what is Walkem's home ARC round. In a car that has previously had some reliability issues, the result was pleasing. "The result was okay, but we need to find a lot more speed," Walkem told RallySport Mag.

Walkem admits he struggled in the wet and slippery Rally Tasmania conditions. Photo: Peter Whitten

"More time in the car will help, but we found we really struggled for traction in those conditions."
As for the remainder of the season, Walkem says that the next round in South Australia is on the cards. "We think that SA would be more likely than Coffs Harbour at this stage, as my work gets very busy from November onwards." ARC fans will be hoping to see the exciting 208 AP4 out on at least one more round of the championship this year.
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