Brothers Marcus and Scott Walkem have signed a multi-national sponsor to support their Hyundai i20 R5 program. The sponsorship deal will be announced in the coming weeks, but according to Scott Walkem, the deal has been done. "We've shaken hands. Sponsorship dollars are almost impossible to get, so to get someone on board to help out is very important," Walkem said. Yet despite the sponsorship dollars, the pair are unlikely to contest the full Australian Rally Championship in their new car next year. "My brother and I are both self employed with young families, so it's opportunistic in terms of what events we can do. "We'd dearly love to do the whole championship, but six rounds is impossible to do for us, even with the shortened ARC formats."

Scott Walkem (left) with his father Graeme. Photo: Wishart Media

In the short term, the Walkems hope to enter the ARC and WRC2 components of Rally Australia, after Hayden Paddon has driven the car at the Eureka Rally later this month. Even that is not confirmed, however, as Scott's next child is due at around the time of the Coffs Harbour event. "We will probably do the APRC Pacific Cup next year, because stage regulations mean we can't run the car in state championships in Australia," Walkem added. When questioned whether Hyundai Australia had shown any interest in getting involved with the Walkem program, Marcus didn't have any real answers. "They were interested and were involved when the R5 car came into the country, but they have their Hyundai driver with Brendan Reeves. We'll wait and see." Excitingly for Australian rallying, the option of running a second Hyundai is something that is also on the cards. "If there was a commitment to a series, then we would consider acquiring a second vehicle. "It makes complete sense. It's not the cost of getting a second car, it's having the technical experience and the capital to maintain them." The team purchased around $100,000 worth of spares when the i20 R5 was bought, in order to keep up with the stringent maintenance program that Hyundai Motorsport sets out.
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