Brothers lap up chance to rally

Launceston's Marcus Walkem is off to Coffs Harbour for the World Rally Championship. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER

Launceston's Marcus Walkem is off to Coffs Harbour for the World Rally Championship. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER

LAUNCESTON rallying brothers Marcus and Scott Walkem are set to tackle a round of the Australian Rally championship in Coffs Harbour next week.

The Launceston duo will pilot their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 in the three-day competition encompassing about 300 kilometres, which doubles as a round of the world rally championships.

They will compete in the national four-wheel drive section and are eyeing a top-three result.

"It's a pretty big event with a lot of cars and a lot of people coming to watch," driver Marcus Walkem said.

"I think there are about 20 other four-wheel drives in our section from all around Australia."

Walkem has been involved in rallying for about five years, following in the footsteps of his father and former state champion, Graeme, and recently won the Tasmanian Rally Series for the second consecutive year.

"We're probably one of the best-prepared and quickest four-wheel drives in Australia and it is putting out close to 380 horsepower at wheels and has a six-based Hollinger sequential gear box in it - so it's a pretty good bit of gear," he said.

"There are some quality drivers in our class but I think we have got the machinery and the team to get a good result."

Walkem competed in a round of the Australian rally championship once before in Victoria in 2011 where he gained a sixth place.

"I was fairly new to the car then and compared to where we are now, we are a lot quicker and more refined team than what we were back then," he said.

"Scott is a recent addition as navigator but he has done some Targas with Dad before and has gelled really quickly.

"We want to give some exposure to Tassie and thank our sponsors in Trigonia Seafoods, Jinglers Creek Rise, Fulton Enterprises and Ben Henson Motorsport who do our mechanical work."

Launceston's Bill Cromarty and Hugh Maslin will also compete in the classics section of the rally.

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