BRAD Markovic has finished his first Kennards Hire Rally Australia on a high.
The WA driver, who entered the FIA World Rally Championship section of the three-day event on the NSW Coffs Coast, scored the trophy for third-fastest Australian. He was 15th overall in the WRC competition.
Markovic also finished sixth in the Kuhmo Tyre Australian Rally Championship section of the rally and was the first West Aussie home.
“It’s such a great way to finish the year,” the Maximum Motorsport driver said.
Kennards Hire Rally Australia was run in hot and dusty conditions, but, what made the event especially challenging for Markovic, was a migraine that struck on Friday afternoon and hung around for the next 24 hours.
“My vision was affected, and I was nauseous as well, so it was a tough time to be in a hot rally car and my concentration was woeful on some of those stages,” he explained.
Markovic’s determination and perseverance in continuing in the event was rewarded on Saturday night.
He claimed his first-ever ARC stage win in front of a big crowd at the Destination NSW Super Special Stage and finished the day in the fourth spot in the ARC competition.
On the final day, Markovic set consistent stage times and was on track to finish fifth, but dropped to sixth when his Auto One Subaru WRX STI suffered a mechanical issue.
“We had the clutch go about a kilometre into the last stage,” he said. “It meant we couldn’t rev the car over 3000rpms and we basically had to limp the car out through the stage.”
Kennards Hire Rally Australia wrapped up Markovic’s first year in the ARC, and he finished fifth in the championship overall.
He expects to announce plans for 2017 early in the New Year.
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