Evans says pressure is all on Bates for Rally SA
- 2nd September 2016, 12:30am
Simon Evans says the pressure is on series leader Harry Bates as they head into the penultimate round of the Kumho Tyre Australian Rally Championship in South Australia next weekend.
Evans and co-driver, Ben Searcy, sit 27 points behind Bates and John McCarthy, and the young Toyota driver finds himself leading the championship for the first time.
Evans had a disappointing event in Queensland, but enters Lightforce Rally SA with his usual “maximum attack” attitude.
“As long as we finish in front of Harry in both heats we’ll be okay,” Evans said today.
“I’ve got nothing to lose, so the pressure is all on Harry to stay in front. He has to go for it.”
After rolling his Subaru WRX in Queensland, Evans’ team have completely rebuilt the car, with the Victorian concreter set to test the car tomorrow (Saturday).
Development of the car has continued, with work on diff settings and the car’s suspension being undertaken to try and further improve the handling.
Aside from Bates, Evans’ major threat for the ARC title is Molly Taylor in her Group N Subaru, but there are a few other drivers who will be eagerly targeting the event win.
Brendan Reeves won the National Capital Rally in his Subaru and returns to the ARC in South Australia, despite not being registered for series points. Another Subaru, driven by young gun Arron Windus, will also be in the running after he took out a round of the Victorian Rally Championship last weekend.
“Arron will definitely be one to watch after his performance last weekend,” Evans added. “Taking it up to Will Orders was a great effort.”
Typically, Evans is not too concerned about what weather the event throws up, pointing out that “we’re all on the same tyres”.
“I haven’t done this event since 2012 when I drove the Mazda 2, but it’s one that I like, and I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.
“The rally is not as fast as it once was, and there’s a lot more stages in the Mt Crawford Forest, but it should be another great event.”
Lightforce Rally SA consists of 20 special stages and 220 kilometres of competitive driving on Saturday and Sunday, September 10 and 11.
One of the highlights of the event will be three night stages on Saturday, which could really play a key role in deciding the outcome.
- Peter Whitten
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