BRAD Markovic finished his first Rally Australia on a high over the weekend.
The Kalamunda driver, who entered the World Rally Championship (WRC) 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 and finished sixth in the KuhmoTyre Australian Rally Championship (ARC) section of the rally – the first West Aussie home.
“It’s such a great way to finish the year,” Markovic said.
The rally was run in hot and dusty conditions, but a 24-hour migraine that started on Friday made the event especially challenging for Markovic.
“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 said.
Markovic’s determination to continue the event was rewarded on Saturday night, claiming his first-ever ARC stage win in front of a big crowd and finishing the day in fourth spot in the ARC competition.
On the final day of the event, 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.”
Participation in 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.