Maximum Motorsport’s Brad Markovic was a notable absentee from the final two rounds of the CAMS Australian Rally Championship, back surgery forcing the West Australian to sit out Lightforce Rally SA and Kennards Hire Rally Australia.
That didn’t stop him making the trip to the Coffs Coast to join the Maximum Motorsport stable and support Dean Herridge and John O’Dowd.
“It’s been a bit of an unfortunate end to the year having a back operation,” said Markovic.
“But I really wanted to get to Rally Australia and see everybody that we competed with all year and support Dean Herridge who’s having a run, as well as John O’Dowd, so it’s been a good weekend from our perspective.”
Another factor drawing Markovic to the east-coast for Rally Australia was the chance to investigate options for a new car for his 2018 ARC campaign.
“That’s what this weekend was about as well, to come over here and look at how a few international teams were running their cars, and a few other options with AP4 cars,” Markovic said.
“I hope to announce something early next year and we’ll definitely be back out there in some shape or form. I mean I’ve still got the Subaru sitting there, but we’d like to get into something a little bit different next year….”
“I think anything from Europe at this stage is the way I’m looking at. R5, I think something a little bit different, and I hope to see a few of these cars in Australia as well.
“Richie Dalton’s done a great job with the Skoda this weekend…so I’ve kept a close eye on that. A few little options out there and we’ll wait and see how it all pans out.”
Markovic had a break-out year in 2017, claiming his first ARC podium at the Forest Rally in WA, third place for him and co-driver Toni Fever.
Tenth outright at the Eureka Rally and sixth outright at National Capital Rally saw Markovic and Fever set to claim a spot in the winner-takes-all ARC2 final at Rally Australia.
However with Markovic unable to take part in the final, John O’Dowd stepped up as the next highest points scorer in the ARC2 standings. O’Dowd eventually took out the final, claiming the inaugural ARC2 4WD title.