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Next month's final round of the Bosch Australian Rally Championship at Rally Victoria promises a strong home town battle for front running local brothers Eli and Simon Evans as the rival siblings fight for supremacy in the two wheel drive formula.
The Evans hale from nearby NarNarGoon and Eli says the Victorian round is a favourite and has been a fantastic inclusion in the ARC over past two years.
"It's great to have friends and family who would not usually come to Bosch ARC events come out and support us," said Eli Evans.
"Rally Victoria may be on our doorstep but I don't reckon we will have any hometown advantage despite cutting my rallying teeth on these roads," said the newly crowned Bosch two-wheel drive Australian Rally Champion.
"People think that because we're locals we get to know the roads better, but with pace notes it is a real leveller and makes it pretty equal for all the top teams," he added.
"When you try to drive the roads from memory instead of driving to the notes -you will inevitably be caught out."
While it is a dead rubber with the younger Evans already securing the Two Wheel Drive ARC title in his factory backed Honda Jazz G2 the challenge from his older brother Simon will be the main focus for the sibling rivals.
Simon Evans is aiming for back to back wins at Rally Victoria wins and is looking to repeat his first heat win at the wheel of the new Mazda G2 two wheel drive after victory on the Sunday heat at the Coffs Coast Rally last month.
"Simon won Victoria last year but I'm looking forward to a really close tussle this year," said Eli.
"I think Rally Victoria is the toughest event of the year and I've never had a clean run there so I'm hoping to get the monkey off my back with a clean run and make it six round wins from six starts for 2012.
Eli feels weather conditions will play a crucial role in how the two day event pans out.
"There is no rally like it, if it's warm weather it will be really tough on tyres, but there are often spring storms that can drench the stages, so you have to gamble with tyres and pick the stages you push on otherwise you use too many tyres.
"If it's wet, it's a completely different rally, tyre wear drops but often when it's wet it gets quite foggy on the ridges presenting a whole other challenge.
Evans says the final round of the 2012 title presents the perfect opportunity to test and improve the competitiveness for 2013.
"There are a lot of rumours about new cars and manufacturers coming for next year so we need to use Rally Victoria to prepare and make sure we're ready for what is going to be a very tough 2013."
Eli Evans will also have to fend off Honda Jazz tam mate Mark Pedder who comes into Rally Victoria after strong results at Scouts Rally SA and at Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally.
Along with Pedder and brother Simon's Mazda Eli will also have to battle the rapidly improving youngster Matt Amos in is Commodore V8 Ute who recorded his first Bosch ARC podium at the last round.
In addition 2011 Bosch Australian Rally Champion Justin Dowel is set to debut his new two wheel drive Volkswagen Polo G2 car that he will campaign in season 2013. Dowel has spent the 2012 season considering his options for the move to two wheels drive and is excited about the move to the exciting new VW. Dowel's Activ RallySport team is expected to make an announcement about his 2013 program in coming weeks while another major manufacrturer is set to announce its involvement in the ARC in the next month.
Two wheel drive front runner Jack Monkhouse will lead the field in the Rallyschool.com.au zero car over the weekend unable to compete in his regular car. Monkhouse has been one of the two wheel drive front runners all year but has been ruled out of the final round with not enough time to repair the Sylvia after a 160km/h end over end roll at Coffs Harbour.
Since its inception in 2010 Rally Victoria has become a major event on the Gippsland events calendar and injects upwards of half a million dollars into the local economy.
The rally is tipped to deliver at least 1000 room nights to hotels and accommodation in the Warragul and Drouin region. 


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