Scott Walkem has revealed that the Walkem brothers will finally make their long awaited return to the CAMS Australian Rally Championship (ARC) at Subaru Rally Tasmania.
After originally entering June’s Netier National Capital Rally, the brothers made a last minute decision to pull out of the rally with their rebuilt Peugeot AP4 not quite ready for the challenge.
Scott and Marcus Walkem are scheduled to compete in only two of the three remaining ARC rounds, with Tasmania and Coffs Harbour on their list.
It has been a frustrating delay for the Walkems, who had originally planned to enter the car in the 2017 Rally Australia, with co-driver Scott adamant on their high standards and budget.
“We’ve invested a lot of time and money into the car.” Scott said.
“We had rebuilt the car from scratch and had to ship five service crew, so the odds were against us. We were not comfortable with the car being race ready.
“It has been quite frustrating that we have been unable to get the car ready in time for events.
The Walkem Peugeot 208 AP4 will debut at Rally Tasmania.
“We wanted to use Rally Australia (in 2017) as a test run for the ARC this year but unfortunately we don’t have a big team and it’s just taken us a long time.
“We value reliability. We don’t want to enter events and have breakdowns.”
It has been a difficult road back for the brothers, but with the car currently in transit to Launceston, there is no turning back now for the Tasmanians who will enjoy their comeback rally on home soil.
“We wanted to step back and make sure the car is as right as we could possibly get it before we’re back racing,” Scott explained.
“It’s flying now. She is a little rocket ship so were looking forward to getting in it. We just have to tidy up a few loose ends which will be done down in Tassie.
As the brothers have had to replan their strategies multiple times in the lead up to the event, Scott indicated their new plan focuses on the basics.
“We have decided that this year will be a test year and look at hitting the competition harder next year,” Scott added.
“Normally we set ourselves higher objectives and standards but realistically, it’s a brand new car, we expect to have a few teething issues but we will see how we go.
“We have no expectations about a podium finish, we just want to get back into rallying and most importantly have a bit of fun. We really do enjoy it.
“We are coming off a big accident but we are both keen as mustard to get back into the car and build some pace up and eventually be competitive.”
The pair has not competed in the ARC since the Make Smoking History Forest Rally in 2017 where they wrote off their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX in a serious accident.
The Subaru Rally Tasmania will take place in the forests surrounding Launceston on 27-29 July.
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