Wilde ready for New Caledonia Rally
- 13th May 2014, 5:28am
WA rally driver Tom Wilde will head to the small Pacific island nation of New Caledonia, 1,500kms east of Brisbane, for round two of the 2014 Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC).
Rallye de Nouvelle Caledonia runs from May 16 to 18 and is a chance for Wilde to back up his dream start to the APRC season.
Last month, on international debut, the Verandah Apartments Rally Team driver finished fastest two-wheel drive and fourth outright in New Zealand’s Rally of Whangarei.
In New Caledonia, Wilde expects his competition to be tougher. In particular, he has his eye on French driver Emmanuel Guigou who finished second outright in the rally last year.
Guigou is a factory Renault competitor who runs the same Clio R3 as Wilde and co-driver Bill Hayes.
He has a reputation for being fast and Wilde said: “I’ve been told if we can get anywhere near him, we’re doing well.”
Wilde expects Rallye de Nouvelle Caledonia to require technical driving skills and said weather could play an important part in the outcome of the event.
“From what I’ve heard, it gets really rough and slippery when it rains,” he said.
While the Verandah Apartments Rally Team might have to ration tyres after using more than expected on dry New Zealand stages, they are confident an electrical issue with the Clio has been fixed.
Wilde said: “This is an issue that was hampering us all last year but we think we’ve finally sorted out what the problem was.”
Rallye de Nouvelle Caledonia will be held near the capital Noumea. It boosts fast stages on wide roads plus tight and twisty stages through natural bushland.
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