TRD Rally's defending series champion Simon Evans is heading to the Coates Rally Queensland, aiming to repeat his 2007 total domination of the event when he won every stage in both heats and took overall victory.

The two-time Australian Rally Champion currently sits second in the 2008 standings. He is yet to win an event in his new S2000 Corolla, but hopes to reverse his run of bad luck at his favourite event.

Evans is chasing current championship leader and Toyota team-mate Neal Bates who has enjoyed his best start to a season since 1995 by winning the opening two rounds of the season.

Despite enduring two luckless events, Evans knows he has the pace to reverse the trend in Queensland.

"In Canberra we won every stage of the rally apart from the three where we had no power-steering due to our stage one incident, so the pace is definitely there," he said.

"The S2000 Corolla is built for an event like Queensland - which I believe to be the toughest in the series.

"It is the only event I think where the co-driver has a massive input because the roads are so tricky, narrow and fast, and you can't see around the bends. You have to commit to your notes to be quick.

"Driver skill is the main thing and this rally is all about commitment.

"We haven't even done two-thirds of the championship, but we have won both bonus points for most stage wins, and we are definitely consistent. That will help us in Queensland."

TRD team boss Bates is enjoying his dream start to the season, but is aware there are still four rounds to go and is wary of the strong competition in the field.

"It has been nice to have six weeks between events. It has allowed us to go through everything and essentially we have rebuilt both cars since Canberra," Bates said.

"If we continue like this we will be over the moon, but the competition is strong. With the likes of Darren Windus returning in an S2000 Fiesta we can't take anything for granted.

"I quite enjoy Rally Queensland. It is extremely tough and tricky and is the one event you need to concentrate 100 per cent of the time to get the most out of it.

"The roads feature a combination of widths with lots of tree stumps and crests - the trick is to keep up with all the variations in terrain."

Rally Queensland kicks off on Friday night (June 20) with two Super Special Stages at the Maroochy Showgrounds in Nambour.
Get full, exclusive access for only $6.55/month.
  • Full access
  • Exclusive news
  • Store & Tour discounts

Show Your Support


Recent Posts