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WA rally driver Tom Wilde has wrapped up an outstanding debut season with the Renault Rally Sport Team, finishing second in the 2013 East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship (ARC).

The 25-year-old Busselton local was runner up to the unstoppable Eli Evans (Honda Jazz) and said:“Second in the championship is amazing.”

“I'd like to thank my sponsors, Verandah Apartments and the Pedders Suspension family, for being able to be in this position in the first place.”

Wilde, whose best result this year was second place at the International Rally of Queensland in July, finished third in the final event of the ARC season, Rally Victoria at the weekend.

The two-day event over forestry roads around the Shire of Baw Baw was a challenging season finale for Wilde.

His Renault Clio was plagued with engine problems and he explained: “We had an issue with power which hampered our results all weekend.”

While his team suspected the problem was an electrical fault, they were unable to fix it.

“To their credit, the Racetorque guys managed to keep the car going all weekend which is what they have done all year,” Wilde said.

Despite the mechanical handicap, Wilde and co-driver Bill Hayes were amongst the five fastest cars on every stage of Leg Two and even scoredtwo second-fastest stage times.

Outright victor at Rally Victoria was Evans, who scored his 12th win in a row. Brendan Reeves (Mazda 2), who had former WA co-driver Glenn Macneall calling the shots, finished in second place and Wilde took the final spot on the podium finishing less than five seconds ahead of Glen Raymond (Mazda RX7).

Unfortunately Wilde’s Renault Rally Sport team mate Scott Pedderwas unable to finish either leg of Rally Victoria. His Clio left the road on both days.

In the 4WD competition of Rally Victory, WA’s Rob Webber and Doug Tostevinwere also unable to keep their cars on the road.

Tostevin, who was in second place at the end of Leg One, went out of the event when he rolled his Subaru WRX early in Leg Two.

Meanwhile Webber explained his Mitsubishi Evo IX’s off road adventure in Leg Two: “We had a crack and we beached it.”

After being towed, Webber was able to rejoin the field and finished tenth. He said he learnt a lot from his eastern-states rallying experience and would apply that knowledge to the WA Rally Championship next year.

Photo: Stuart Bowes


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