Hella Rally Team bows out early in Canberra. April 28, 2003 - The Hella Rally Team of Simon and Sue Evans have retired after just two kilometres of the 2003 Subaru Rally of Canberra held on the weekend due to a freak gearbox selector ...
Hella Rally Team bows out early in Canberra.
April 28, 2003 - The Hella Rally Team of Simon and Sue Evans have retired after just two kilometres of the 2003 Subaru Rally of Canberra held on the weekend due to a freak gearbox selector failure.
This abrupt end to the first of two Australian Rally Championship Manufacturer's Rounds this year was a bitter pill to swallow for the Hella and Yokohama sponsored husband and wife driving team. Simon and Sue Evans raced to second overall in their Subaru WRX at the 2003 season opening Forest Rally in Western Australia last month.
The Hella Rally Team was the fourth car on the road for the start the Rally of Canberra and hopes were high for a strong finish following the team's promising testing results along with the fierce pace the Evans duo displayed in Perth.
Disaster struck only two kilometres into the opening 14 kilometre Tidbinbilla stage of the Rally, when the Evans' Subaru WRX gearbox uncharacteristically jammed in fourth gear. With 12 kilometres of steep and undulating gravel roads leading to a second similar 14 kilometre stage before the first service stop, Simon and Sue Evans made the reluctant decision to retire from this event.
Simon Evans - "We are extremely disappointed, particularly after we performed so strongly in our testing leading up to this event - where everything ran perfectly. There was no hint of this gearbox selector problem developing, it is just one of those things, an unfortunate part of motorsport. Having said this, we will spend the next six weeks before the Rally of Queensland determining what went wrong and how to avoid this in future. We are also fortunate that this retirement doesn't affect our standing in the Australian Rally Drivers' Championship as it was a Manufacturers' Round - but that doesn't make this abrupt retirement any easier to accept."
The Hella Rally Team returns to the grueling forest racing roads of Queensland on June 14 and 15 where they expect to make amends for the lost opportunity in Canberra at this Australian Rally Championship points earning round.
The Rally of Queensland will also feature one of only two spectacular night stages of the 2003 Australian Rally Championship, with the Hella Night Stage and adding another exciting major challenge to this exciting event.