October 5, 2003 - Hella Australia sponsored Australian Rally Championship(ARC) team drivers Simon and Sue Evans have raced to a memorable victory following an otustanding performance at the NGK Rally of Melbourne. Fighting throughout the rally...
October 5, 2003 - Hella Australia sponsored Australian Rally Championship(ARC) team drivers Simon and Sue Evans have raced to a memorable victory following an otustanding performance at the NGK Rally of Melbourne.
Fighting throughout the rally against both privateer and factory supported opposition, the Evans' duo were finally able to prove the winning potential that they have been displaying all season in their Subaru WRX at this penultimate round of the 2003 Australian Rally Championship.
Simon Evans, 30, was in his element on the slippery forest roads of his home state of Victoria, deploying his usual super-exciting driving style and giving Rally of Melbourne fans plenty to cheer about in the process. Evans muscled the Hella machine to the overnight rally lead on Saturday and spent Sunday vigorously defending his lead during all of the closely fought rally stages.
The battle for the overall victory went all the way to the final 2.6 kilometre De Bertoli Winery stage, with the husband and wife Hella Motorsport team fending off a close attack from Mitsubishi rival Scott Pedder. Pedder wasn't the only concern for the Evans duo, with four cars competing within a ten second gap during the final ten kilometres of the rally.
This result was particularly satisfying for Simon and Sue Evans, considering the close competition and the treacherous road conditions encountered throughout the rally following heavy rains in the region.
"It was slippery and it was dangerous and by now everyone knows what I'm like in those conditions. I think it is becoming a standard we are setting - every event where it is slippery we tend to do very well. The local knowledge helped a lot, I know what the roads are going to do and I know how the conditions change. My driving style suits the wet - I throw the car around and I'm pretty confident in maintaining as much road speed as possible in slippery conditions," Simon said.
In a rally that came down to getting the job done better and faster than everyone else, Evans was in a class of his own at the NGK Rally of Melbourne, but the Hella driver had his fair share of drama in the closing stages.
"I had a bit of a spin on one of the stages and got angry, so then I really got into it. When something like that happens it's not always easy to keep it straight and clean. It was really tricky out there, you lose concentration just once and you're three feet wider than you want to be. We had a few of those situations where we ran wide, but luckily they were in good spots," Evans said.
Victorian driver Scott Pedder finished second in his Mitsubishi, with Subaru factory driver Cody Crocker third and Mitsubishi Ralliart driver Ed Ordynski fourth. This result has triggered a red hot battle for the ARC title with just one round remaining.
Championship leader Crocker (160) is followed by Ordynski (141) with Simon and Sue Evans remaining in the battle on 127 points following their superb Rally of Melbourne victory. <pre>
OVERALL RESULTS 1. Simon Evans/Sue Evans Subaru 36 2. Scott Pedder/Paul Humm Mitsubishi 32 3. Cody Crocker/Greg Foletta Subaru 26 4. Ed Ordynski/Iain Stewart Mitsubishi 26 5. Juha Kangas/Julia Rabbett Mitsubishi 25 6. Spencer Lowndes/Chris Randell Mitsubishi 16 7. Neal Bates/Coral Taylor Toyota 12 8. Dean Herridge/Glenn Macneall Subaru 8 9. Sam Brand/Anthony McLoughlin Subaru 4 10. Rick Bates/Damien Long Toyota 3
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (After round 5 of 6) 1. Cody Crocker/Greg Foletta Subaru 160 2. Ed Ordynski/Iain Stewart Mitsubishi 141 3. Simon Evans/Sue Evans Subaru 127 4. Juha Kangas/Julia Rabbett Mitsubishi 93 5. Dean Herridge/Glenn Macneall Subaru 88 6. Scott Pedder/Paul Humm Mitsubishi 70 7. Spencer Lowndes/Chris Randell Mitsubishi 66 8. Neal Bates/Coral Taylor Toyota 52 9. Mark Thompson/Rita Thompson Mitsubishi 44 10. Rick Bates/Damien Long Toyota 28