Simon and Sue Evans second in Premier State Rally July 8, 2003 - Simon and Sue Evans have gained their highest overall result of the 2003 Australian Rally Championship season with second overall in the Premier State Rally held in Sydney last ...
Simon and Sue Evans second in Premier State Rally
July 8, 2003 - Simon and Sue Evans have gained their highest overall result of the 2003 Australian Rally Championship season with second overall in the Premier State Rally held in Sydney last weekend.
If not for a 50 second penalty imposed for a longer than expected service stop during the early stages of this grueling forest and bitumen racing event, the Hella Rally Team would have comfortably won this round ahead of the best that the factory teams could offer.
Simon Evans continued his sizzling 2003 form by winning no less than nine out of fourteen rally stages, making him and wife Sue the clear 'on-track' winners in their privately entered Subaru WRX.
The 2003 Premier State Rally commenced with the exciting concept of night stages at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway which proved to be popular with competitors and fans alike. The latest in Hella high performance lighting technology provided a clear view for Simon Evans to set the fastest time of the first Eastern Creek stage and the third fastest time (3/10ths of a second behind the factory Toyota, Mitsubishi and Subaru drivers) of the second Eastern Creek track stage.
While transporting to the forest roads of Wyong, Simon Evans noticed an engine misfire developing - but with no service stages available until the next day's forest stages, he maintained a watching brief as the intermittent and mysterious electrical problem continued.
Once in service, the Hella Rally Team searched for the problem within their Subaru WRX wiring loom but could not locate it, taking ten minutes longer than the timeframe permitted and incurring a 50 second time penalty.
Once on the competition stages it was back to business for Simon Evans, who was the fastest driver all day, finishing Heat One in the number one spot on the track, but due to the time penalty the Hella Rally Team was placed 5th overall.
Heat two saw another brilliant fightback performance by Simon Evans, who engaged in a fantastic battle that lasted all the way to the second last stage of the event. This epic forest racing fight reduced the gap between Evans and rally leader Ed Ordynski down to 2.3 seconds by the second last stage of the rally.
By the end of the Premier State Rally, Simon and Sue Evans had finished second outright and reduced a 50 second deficit down to just six seconds behind the winner, South Australian Mitsubushi driver Ed Ordynski.
According to Simon Evans, the Premier State Rally proved that the Hella Rally Team is competing at the absolute forefront of the Australian Rally Championship.
"We won this rally on the road - only the 50 second penalty dropped us to second overall for the round. It was a very tough event - very rough going, but we both enjoyed the challenge of the forest roads around the Wyong Shire. The head to head battle with Ed Ordynski was fantastic - a satisfying challenge that went all the way to the finish," Simon Evans said at the completion of this Rally.
This result has reduced the gap to 38 points between second placed Simon Evans to Australian Rally Championship leader and Subaru factory driver Cody Crocker at the half way point of the series.
The Hella Rally Team will be back on the track for the Rally of South Australia, held in and around Adelaide's Barossa Valley on August 9 and 10.