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The husband and wife pairing of Simon and Sue Evans have completely dominated the first day of the Capital Rally of Canberra, Heat 1 of the third round of the Australian Rally Championship.

Their Toyota Corolla finished the day a massive two minutes and 37 seconds ahead the second Corolla, the new Super 2000 car of Neal Bates and Coral Taylor. Bates suffered a puncture on the second stage of the day, dropping over a minute, but he was unable to match Evans’ blistering pace.

Young Victorian, Will Orders, took third place in his privately entered Subaru Impreza WRX, while former Mitsubishi Ralliart driver, Spencer Lowndes, lies fourth on his return to the Australian Rally Championship.

Another privately entered Subaru, that of Brendan Reeves, is sixth, while Michael Guest recovered from last night’s gentle roll to be sixth in his S2000 Ford Fiesta. It wasn’t such a good day for his team-mate, Darren Windus, however. Windus’ car suffered a steering failure on the first stage of the day, then, after rejoining the rally, was delayed with further problems later on.

The major retirement of the day was that of Simon Evans’ brother, Eli. After going off the road on SS2, he left the road for good on SS3, rolling his brand new Impreza and temporarily blocking the stage. His team are working hard in the hope that he can rejoin the rally tomorrow.

One of the drives of the day came from outstanding lady driver, Molly Taylor. The daughter of Toyota co-driver, Coral Taylor, Molly upstaged many more experienced drivers and many more powerful cars to finish ninth outright in her front-wheel drive Mitsubishi Mirage.

This year’s Rally of Canberra has witnessed bigger spectator numbers than it has for many years as fans flock to the forests to see the best drivers in the Asia Pacific region go head-to-head in one of the most popular rounds of the championship.

Tomorrow the ARC crews face another six stages, with a total competitive distance of 106km.

Results at the end of Heat 1:

1. Simon Evans / Sue Evans, Toyota Corolla Sportivo, 1h18m07.3s

2. Neal Bates / Coral Taylor, Toyota Corolla Super 2000, +2m37.5s

3. Will Orders / Toni Feaver, Subaru Impreza WRX, +3m48.3s

4. Spencer Lowndes / Chris Randell, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, +3m53.9s

5. Brendan Reeves / Rhianon Smyth, Subaru Impreza WRX, +4m48.4s

6. Michael Guest / David Green, Ford Fiesta Super 2000, +5m08.1s



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