Tom Wilde has finished first 2WD in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) competition of the International Rally of Queensland (IROQ). “That was our main goal,” the talented Australia rally driver said from the Sunshine Coast.
IROQ, which was the third round of the APRC, was Wilde’s first outing with new co-driver Andrew McLoughlin. The Queenslander, who has more than 20 years’ experience and last year competed with Japan’s Toshihiro Arai, has taken over from the recently retired Bill Hayes. Wilde was impressed with his new offsider and said: “He is a smart guy and worked very hard watching my previous in-car footage to work out how I like my notes.”
The pair finished sixth overall in the APRC competition at IROQ and Wilde said: “We definitely could have had a better run in outright terms.”
He said the Verandah Rally Team played with the setup of his Renault Clio over the weekend and learnt a lot about what worked best for the car. “We changed setups for Sunday and had a much better day,” he said.
It was tyre choice that was the biggest concern for the team and Wilde explained: “The compound we had available probably wasn’t the right tyre for the rally.” “When you run on a very tight budget, it’s these luxuries we don’t have available to us.”
Wilde is trying to secure extra funding for the rest of the APRC season. “We’re trying our best to be at the next three rounds,” he said.
Meanwhile, WA-based co-driver and reigning APRC champion Glenn Macneall and his driver, India’s Gaurav Gill, walked away from a serious crash in Leg One of IROQ. A broken suspension sent the pair’s Skoda Fabia the wrong way on a bend and the car tumbled down a bank. Experienced competitor Macneall described the crash as ‘the slowest big accident’ he’d ever been in. The next APRC event is round four, the Malaysian Rally from August 15 to 17. For further information contact Ross Tapper – 0418 950 022 or email@example.com