Wilde fastest WA driver in Forest Rally
- 25th April 2016, 10:08pm
Tom Wilde has finished his hometown event, the Quit Forest Rally (QFR), as the highest-placed WA driver. The 28 year old, competing in a Maximum Motorsport-prepared Subaru WRX STI, was sixth overall and earned a solid haul of points towards the 2016 Kumho Tyre Australian Rally Championship.
Wilde, competing for the first time with new co-driver Nick Clements, admitted the rally had its challenges.
“We broke a drive shaft in Heat One and that dropped us back a good couple of minutes,” he said.
The problem was fixed by the Maximum Motorsport service team but, unfortunately, Wilde and co-driver Nick Clements also copped a hefty timing penalty that effectively ruined their chances for the heat.
“Nick got confused. It was simply human error,” Wilde said.
The mistake cost Wilde 10 minutes and meant he finished Heat One in eighth place, instead of sixth.
In Heat Two, Wilde was embroiled in a battle with Molly Taylor, also in a Subaru WRX, and Adrian Coppin, in a Toyota Corolla.
His stage times improved as the day went on and he set the third-fastest time on the final stage of QFR.
Wilde said just finishing such a grueling event was an achievement.
Several of the top ARC contenders retired with mechanical issues and, in the case of Wilde’s teammate Brad Markovic, more dramatic circumstances.
“Our service team told us about the fire,” Wilde said. “We were gutted for him.”
Markovic had been in second place in the event when his Subaru became engulfed by flames. It’s suspected a damaged exhaust may have led to fire however Maximum Motorsport will conduct extensive investigations.
Wilde was a crowd favourite at QFR and delighted crowds at the Busselton Super Special Stage at Barnard Park and over the fast forest stages of Nannup.
Photo: Gemma Lucas
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