Eli Evans says he’s a definite starter for the Rally of Malaysia in October, which will include the Asia-Pacific component of the ‘Pirelli Rising Star’ competition.

To be held the weekend after the all-new tarmac round of the Australian Rally Championship, the Pirelli Rising Star competition offers the winner six sponsored drives in next year’s World Rally Championship.

Evans, and co-driver Chris Murphy, will compete in the event in their 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STI (the team’s spare car), and plan on going “all out” to win the award.

Eligible drivers in the Pirelli Rising Star competition score points for each stage completed in the top three (among fellow entrants). The fastest on each stage receives three points, two points are awarded for second, and one point for third. Drivers do not have to finish the rally to win the award.

Eligible drivers have to be under 27 years of age, and while the winners in Europe, the Middle East and Africa will be the most successful drivers in their respective regional championships, the Asia-Pacific winner will be decided in a one event shoot-out.

“It will be all or nothing,” Evans told www.rallysportmag.com.au. “If we don’t win, then it’s all over until next year – if the competition runs again next year. Hopefully we’ll be successful the first time around.”

Evans has competed in the Rally of Malaysia before – in 2006 when he did the entire APRC for the Les Walkden Rallying team – so he knows what to expect from the weather and the conditions.

“It’s a really tough event. It’s extremely hot and can be 38 degrees in the shade, with very high humidity. Dehydration can be a big factor,” Evans said.

Because of the heat, the Evans team are taking their own doctor to the event.

Before the Rally of Malaysia gets under way, Evans has two rounds of the Australian Rally Championship to negotiate. The Rally of South Australia will be held on July 26 and 27, and the Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge on October 5 and 6.

Photos: Hubble Photographix

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