History has been made in the final round of the CAMS Onslow Contracting Western Australian Rally Championship (WARC) with a 2WD car taking the championship title at the 53rd Carrington’s Traffic Services Safari Rally, the first time in 30 years.
It was always going to be a close battle at Australia’s oldest rally with just 35 points separating the top three before the event.
Tom Wilde and co-driver Madelin Kirkhouse in their Verandah Apartments sponsored 1993 Honda Civic, a naturally aspirated 2WD car, finished the rally in third place, which was enough to take the Championship title by just two points ahead of their nearest rival.
It’s the first time since 1987 that a 2WD has won the Championship, quite a feat for Wilde / Kirkhouse against more powerful 4WD vehicles. Serendipitously, 1987 was the year Tom Wilde was born.
Wilde / Kirkhouse took the lead of the WARC when they won round one, the Trade Hire Kin Kin Rally, which was the first outright rally win for a two-wheel drive car for 23 years when two-time WA State Rally Champion Bob Nicoli finished fastest in his Daihatsu Charade. Nicoli last won the WARC in 1987.
Wilde said he was ecstatic to win and paid tribute to his co-driver and girlfriend Madelin Kirkhouse.
“It’s an awesome feeling to win. This win is really special for Maddie – she grew up around this car as her brother-in-law used to own it, so it’s special for her whole family,” said Wilde, a cheese maker at Cambray Cheese in Nannup.