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Dual Australian Rally Champion Simon Evans claimed victory at last weekend’s Rally of Canberra, second Round of the Australian Rally Championship, on his first appearance in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

Evans, a former factory driver with Toyota, showed sparkling pace from the very outset of the event earning six fastest stage times on his way to the top step of the podium.

“To win in Canberra was absolutely awesome,” exclaimed Simon. “It’s an incredibly tough event and very demanding on the car, but we came through it totally unscathed and with a car that is practically ready to go for the next rally.”

Extremely dry conditions in the lead up to the event produced hard packed roads with a thick layer of slippery dust. Evans though took the challenging conditions in his stride, blasting his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution through ruts and over rocks without concern.

“The car was brilliant, it’s a true testament to the work put in by the team at Race Torque to engineer such a tough vehicle. Ultimately you win events like Canberra in the workshop. We proved that last weekend,” he said.

Having clinched the Australian Rally Championship in 2006 and again in 2007 Evans is now firmly on track to earn a third title, having passed former team mate Neal Bates to lead the points tally after two Rounds. Evans accumulated 151 points to Bates’ 146 ahead of Glen Raymond on 104 points.

“I’m considering this as the start of our Championship, we still have an awfully long way to go before we can consider holding that trophy again. The Australian Rally Championship is a tough challenge, but that’s why we choose to compete, to take that challenge head on,” Evans added.

Behind Evans a plethora of similar Mitsubishi Lancer’s filled the top ten, with Justin Dowel equal third, Michael Boaden and Brett Kipling equal fifth and Steven Shepheard seventh.

The third Round of the national series takes competitors on the long trek across the Nullarbor to Western Australia and the demanding gravel roads in the plantation forests outside of Busselton.

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