Eli Evans out to win in new Mini Cooper AP4
- 9th February 2017, 11:57pm
Three-time Australian Rally Champions, Eli Evans and Glen Weston, are entering this year’s series in a brand new Mini Cooper built to the AP4 regulations, and aren’t planning on finishing second!
In an interview in the February 2017 issue of RallySport Magazine, Brisbane-based Weston explained that the Mini was the perfect choice for the AP4 regulations.
The car has been built at Force Motorsport in New Zealand, before being shipped to Evans Motorsport in Victoria for completion.
“The Mini is, in our opinion, the perfect car for the AP4 regulations. The Prince engine is the joker engine for the class, and this engine is a standard fitment in the Mini,” Weston said.
“From a dimensional aspect, everything seems to fit nicely. The balance of the car should be very good, as the crew are sitting about 200mm behind the centre line of the car, and this should help to offset the weight of the engine and transmission.
“We also really like the appearance of the Mini. It's an iconic shape with a great motorsport history, so we're hoping that it will become a fan favourite.”
The choice of the Mini was based on the car’s dimensions and specifications, and Evans did not drive a road-going version of the car to test it beforehand.
It has been built as a left-hand drive car, which is Evans’ preference.
“Eli feels that he has better co-ordination in his right hand for gear shifting and using the handbrake, and since 2009 he has only driven one event in a right-hand drive car, as all of the other cars we used were left-hand drives,” Weston added.
Evans hasn’t driven a rally in a four-wheel drive car since Rally Australia in 2009, but coming to grips with the new car isn’t expected to be a problem.
“Eli is super quick in a front-wheel drive car, so we are expecting that this should translate across to the Mini Cooper AP4, however, there will obviously be a learning curve for us.
“We aren't building this car to come to second,” Weston said.
- Peter Whitten
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