TEAM: Wilde On The Podium & Markovic Soul Searching After Slippery International Rally Of Queensland
He finished the event, a notoriously tough and technical rally, in spectacular style, claiming two fastest stage times in a row.
“It was extremely slippery,” Wilde said. “For us, with our car being lower horsepower, it allowed us to drive through it and keep the forward momentum.”
IROQ was another ‘dream run’ for Wilde who was consistently fast and, despite the treacherous conditions for the endurance round, kept his Subaru WRX STI on the road.
He admitted there was one ‘hairy moment’ in the event: “We had a sixth gear moment on SS4 and I thought we were going to end up in the trees.”
Wilde was travelling at 195km/hour when he slid wide on a turn. Remarkably he was able to recover from the spin without stopping and was still fourth fastest on the stage.
“The plan for the weekend was always to keep the car on the road and that was actually pretty hard,” Wilde said.
Maximum Motorsport team mate Brad Markovic, unfortunately, fell foul to the slippery roads on the first stage when his Subaru WRX STI slid wide on a tight lefthander.
“We didn’t do any damage to the car,” he said “but we were locked in third gear and it took us about 25 minutes to bump it out.”
Markovic continued, but acknowledged his head wasn’t in the game and he later retired from Leg One.
“I’d seen smoke from under the bonnet but it turned out it was caused by just a loose CV boot,” he said.
It has been a tough season for Markovic who lost a car in a freak fire at the Quit Forest Rally in April. In May, he ventured to the National Capital Rally with a new car, but was rattled after being first on the scene of another competitor’s car fire.
“It’s had a big impact on my confidence unfortunately,” he said.
While Markovic was able to start Leg Two with a fresh approach and finish the event, he plans to seek professional help for his mental blocks. He’s also considering competing in a round of the WA Rally Championship to get a good run in his car.
Team manager Dean Herridge said: “It was a new rally for Brad and it was under tricky conditions and with a new partnership. He probably will never have conditions as difficult as that again.”
Markovic, was competing with Scott Beckwith while his regular co-driver, Glenn Macneall, contested and won the Asia Pacific Championship section with India’s Gaurav Gill.