Headed by Maximum Motorsport, Markovic, supported by national automotive retailer Auto One, and Tom Wilde, who will soon reveal his major sponsor, made the announcement tonight in front of a crowd of 200.
Both drivers will compete in production-based Subaru WRX STIs built to the highest international standard.
Markovic, who finished 2015 by winning the final two rounds of the WA Rally Championship (WARC), said he was excited to step up to the ARC.
“We’ll be running on different surfaces, at different events and against different competition,” he said.
“This year is about learning the events and I’m really looking forward to the experience. Our aim will be to finish consistently in the top five.”
Markovic will compete with former WRC co-driver and former Asia Pacific Rally champion, Glenn Macneall.
Wilde, is no stranger to the ARC having finished runner up in the 2013 championship and winning several rounds in 2012.
He said the most exciting thing about getting back to the ARC was the strength of the competition: “It’s the elite competitors of our sport.”
Wilde also said he was thrilled to be welcomed into the Maximum Motorsport team.
“The really exciting thing is that we’ve got an all-WA team. We’re not spread across the country,” he said.
“It’s going to mean I can help out on the car and we’ll all be together to plan.”
Co-driving for Wilde will be Nick Clements who has recently called the pacenotes for him at a state level in a Verandah Apartments-backed car.
Maximum Motorsport team manager Dean Herridge, a former factory driver for Subaru, said he was excited by the opportunity to represent WA on a national stage.
“We’ve got two really fast guys. Brad has a long rallying history and has really stepped up in the past 12 months. With Tom, the pedigree is there. We know he’s got pace,” he said.
“We’re excited to get started and thrilled to already have the support of a national retailer like Auto One, plus we’ve got leading lubricant brand Castrol on board.”
Herridge said one of the major reasons to compete this year was the recent rule change to the ARC that meant, once again, 4WD cars will compete for outright points. For the past three years only 2WD cars had been eligible to win the outright championship.
“It’s a major rule change, which falls in our favour as a company that specialises in running Subaru AWD vehicles,” he said.
Herridge’s father, Rob, a former Australian Rally Championship winner, will also be involved in mentoring the team.
The first round of the ARC is Markovic and Wilde’s home event, the Quit Forest Rally around Busselton and Nannup from April 22 to 24. Both drivers are expected to make an impact.
Maximum Motorsport will also be running cars for John O’Dowd, who is looking at competing in several ARC events this year, regular driver Graham Iddles and welcoming NSW-based Chris Higgs in his Subaru WRX.