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WA’s Tom Wilde has had a remarkable drive in his first Brakes Direct International Rally of Queensland (IROQ).

The 24 year old Nannup local finished second four-wheel drive in the Bosch Australian Rally Championship (ARC) competition.

The podium finish is exactly what he and co-driver Lee Tierney had set out to achieve in their Pedder’s Suspension Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X. The success backs up their round one and two wins.

Wilde was thrilled with the result, especially given the technical nature of the 863km Sunshine Coast event.

“It’s a huge event to get your head around,” he said.

 “The roads are so different to WA. There are so many dangerous bits.”
Rain leading up to the event added to the danger but Wilde was fast from the start - just not as fast as 40 year old Michael Boaden from NSW.

 “He definitely drove quicker than he normally does,” Wilde said.

Boaden and sister Helen Cheers were first ARC 4WD and were unstoppable in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX.

They won most of the 19 stages and had a lead of more than 90 seconds after leg one. They extended that to nearly four minutes by the end of the event.

Boaden’s win at IROQ means he’s now top of the championship points. Wilde’s been bumped to second but there are only two points between the pair and, as Wilde said: “It’s only half way.”

Also on the podium for ARC 4WD in Queensland was another NSW team - Tony Sullens and Julia Barkley – in their Subaru WRX STi.

Queensland driver Steve Shepheard was expected to have a big impact in his home event but he didn’t finish IROQ after his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X stopped on the final stage with a driveshaft issue.

Unfortunately WA’s Nicholas Box from Ballajura was also a non-finisher. He and co-driver Ash Ridden were forced out of the event after their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX was hit with mechanical issues. It was a devastating blow for the pair who worked hard to prepare their car after a big crash in last month’s Quit Forest Rally in Busselton.

“We felt we started to get the hang of it, but the roads are rough and we broke the rear suspension,” Box said.

IROQ was also the third round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship and was won outright by Australia’s most successful international rally driver Chris Atkinson in a Skoda Fabia.

WA’s Alister McRae (competing in a factory Proton team from Malaysia) was second.

This was the 44th time the event had been run making it the longest-running rally on the ARC calendar.

The next ARC event is the Scouts Rally in South Australia from July 27 – 29.

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