Evans wins opening Australian Rally Championship round

Simon Evans and Ben Searcy have won the opening round of the Australian Rally Championship thanks to a stage-win count back in Western Australia.

Evans wins opening Australian Rally Championship round
Simon Evans, Ben Searcy, Subaru WRX STI
Molly Taylor, Bill Hayes, Subaru WRX STI

The four-time series champ Evans (Subaru WRX) didn’t have an easy time of things over in the West; having been beaten to Heat honours on Saturday by second-generation young gun Harry Bates, Evans had to fight back on Sunday.

He managed to do it, finishing more than 40s clear of Bates and co-driver John McCarthy (Toyota Corolla S2000), but the overall result still came down to a stage win count back as both Evans/Searcy and Bates/McCarthy were locked on points after two days of running.

“The young fellas (Bates/McCarthy) just caught us unawares,” said Evans.

“We were pretty happy with our pace, sweeping the roads out the front, and I thought everything was pretty sweet and then someone said ‘Harry’s kicking your butt’ and I was like ‘damn it.’

“It’s a long trip over here [to WA], so you always want to make sure you get some points.I love this, I just love being out here. The way I look at it they’ve closed all the forests off just for me so it’s just fantastic.”

Bates, meanwhile, was still ecstatic with his weekend, despite missing out on round honours.

“Simon and I will leave here on a similar amount of points which for me is obviously still beyond what I expected coming into the weekend, so I think although I’m disappointed I’m not a bit closer to him today and that we couldn’t get that top spot but we still need to be happy with the weekend,” he said.

It was a tie for third as well, with Justin Dowel/Toni Feaver (Hyundai i20) and Molly Taylor/Bill Hayes (Subaru WRX) finishing equal on points. For P3 an accrued time count back was used, Dowel given the nod for the podium, meaning the Taylor just missed out on her debut as a factory Subaru driver.

RESULTS – HEAT 1

PosNoCrewVehicleTotal
Gap 1st 
1

6 BATES
MCCARTHY
Toyota
Corolla S2000
01:03:27.7
+
2

2 EVANS
SEARCY
Subaru
Impreza WRX STI
01:03:28.8
+00:01.1
3

7 PEDDER
MOSCATT
Peugeot
208 Maxi
01:05:06.3
+01:38.6
4

5 TAYLOR
HAYES
Subaru
WRX STI
01:05:21.4
+01:53.7
5

3 DOWEL
FEAVER
Hyundai
i20
01:05:24.9
+01:57.2
6

13 DUNKERTON
DUNKERTON
Subaru
Impreza WRX STI
01:08:40.0
+05:12.3
7

15 HIGGS
PENNY
Subaru
Impreza WRX STI
01:13:58.3
+10:30.6
8

4 WILDE
CLEMENTS
Subaru
WRX STI
01:17:12.5
+13:44.8
9

9 COPPIN
KELLY
Toyota
Corolla S2000
(-5) 01:14:27.2
+
10

11 TOSTEVIN
ADAMS
Subaru
Impreza WRX STI
(-6) 01:16:04.9
+

HEAT 2

PosNoCrewVehicleTotal
Gap 1st 
1 2 EVANS
SEARCY
Subaru
Impreza WRX STI
01:06:44.8
+
2 6 BATES
MCCARTHY
Toyota
Corolla S2000
01:07:26.6
+00:41.8
3 3 DOWEL
FEAVER
Hyundai
i20
01:08:45.9
+02:01.1
4 5 TAYLOR
HAYES
Subaru
WRX STI
01:09:19.2
+02:34.4
5 4 WILDE
CLEMENTS
Subaru
WRX STI
01:09:21.7
+02:36.9
6

9 COPPIN
KELLY
Toyota
Corolla S2000
01:09:26.7
+02:41.9
7 8 KING
HAYES
Subaru
Impreza WRX STI
01:09:46.1
+03:01.3
8 7 PEDDER
MOSCATT
Peugeot
208 Maxi
01:11:41.3
+04:56.5
9 11 TOSTEVIN
ADAMS
Subaru
Impreza WRX STI
01:12:45.5
+06:00.7
10

13 DUNKERTON
DUNKERTON
Subaru
Impreza WRX STI
01:13:57.8
+07:13.0
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