Reigning Australian Rally Champions Simon and Sue Evans head to Scouts Rally SA aiming to consolidate the championship lead they established at the last round in Coffs Harbour.

Simon Evans won both heats in Coffs Harbour to establish a 17 point lead (213 to 196 points) over his nearest rival, Scott Pedder.

The South Australian round is the fourth of six in 2010, and sees cars barrelling through the picturesque Barossa Valley.

The round has been a favourite of Evans in recent times, the three-time champion having won the last three South Australian rounds.

Impressively, Evans has scored his three wins in the world-famous wine region in three very different vehicles.

His first win came in 2007 at the wheel of a Toyota Corolla Sportivo Group N (Prototype).

In 2008, Evans remained in a Corolla – however he lost the turbocharger and half the torque output from the previous year at the wheel of the lighter S2000 version.

Last year, Evans switched to a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX to claim his third straight Rally SA title, on his way to his third ARC title in four seasons.

It is a different car again for 2010, with Evans piloting the Tankformers Subaru Impreza WRX STI.

“Obviously we seem to have a reasonable handle on what it takes to be quick at Rally SA,” said Evans.

“It took us a while to win there, but we were very close to it for a long time – and as soon as we got that first victory, a couple more followed.

“However, the Subaru is a new car for us with a different set of challenges – it has different strengths and weaknesses again to what we have been used to in recent years.

“The roads are extremely technical – probably the most technical in the championship – and have quite a lot of grip, so it is a very enjoyable place to drive.

“Traditionally, the Barossa Valley has achieved the biggest crowds in the ARC, which adds another fantastic element to the event.

“Ringing the neck of a rally car in front of thousands of people in the Mount Crawford stages is one of the biggest thrills in Australian rallying.

“Sue thinks that I try to get a little bit more sideways and show off a bit in front of the crowds – I would never admit to that, but she is probably right.”

The Scouts Rally SA takes place in the Barossa Valley on 25th to 27th June.

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