Mark Pedder to drive for Honda in 2012 Australian Rally Championship
- 15th December 2011, 12:05pm
Honda Australia has finalised its 2012 driver line-up for the Bosch ARC, signing Mark Pedder and co-driver Claire Ryan to compete alongside Eli Evans and Glen Weston.
Pedder and Ryan comprise the second driver combination for the Evans Motorsport team, who are entering two Honda Jazz in the two-wheel drive championship.
“For the past few years, I’ve been chasing the Pedder brothers around the forests of the ARC,” Evans said. “I love rallying against these guys, we have a great rivalry. Once you add Claire Ryan to the co-driver’s seat, I have no doubt they will do a fine job.
“I can’t wait to share the fun driving the brand new Honda Jazz G2 rally car. The Hondas will be super fast!”
The Evans Motorsport Team now wears two of the toughest names in the business. The Evans and Pedder families both carry long histories in rallying. Peter Evans, Eli’s father, began rallying in the mid 1970s, with sons Eli and Simon following closely in his footsteps.
The Pedder family are also long-term supporters of the ARC and have raced teams since the 1980s, with an eager Mark co-driving alongside his father at age 14. Scott Pedder, Mark’s brother, has been rallying since 1993 and is now CEO of the Bosch Australian Rally Championship. Glen Weston was also Scott Pedder’s co-driver from 2005 to 2009.
“Joining Evans Motorsport and Honda for 2012 is an awesome opportunity,” Mark Pedder said. “They have proved over the last two seasons what a great car and team they have. With the new cars on the horizon it’s very exciting times and the first event at Calder cannot come quick enough.”
Racing is in Honda’s DNA and also runs deep in the Evans and Pedder clans; the two Honda Jazz will be a tough force to reckon with.
Mark Pedder’s first rally experience saw him place third outright in the George Woods Introductory Trial in 1993. The Victorian then debuted at the Australian Rally Championship in 1997 and is currently the Managing Director of Pedders Suspension.
Pedder’s achievements include:
- 4th outright in the 2000 Victoria Rally Championship
- Finishing equal 2nd outright in the 2010 Bosch Australian Rally Championship
- 3rd outright in 2010 Rally Victoria
- 3rd outright 2011 International Rally of Queensland
- 2nd outright at 2011 Rally WA
South Australian based Claire Ryan works as an Intensive Care Unit Nurse, a role which compliments rallying, requiring exact science, rigorous discipline, exceptional organisational skills and the ability to think quickly.
Since entering a local rally sprint in 2002 and placing 4th outright in a road car, Ryan has been passionately involved in motorsport. In 2005 she was given the opportunity to attend the Australian Institute of Sport Rally Academy for junior drivers and co-drivers, which fine-tuned her rally skills.
Competing in over 30 events at local, state, national and international level, her passion and commitment for the sport has seen her take on the additional roles of secretary to events, road official and co-driver in course cars, and for three years, Deputy Rally Control Manager of the Classic Adelaide Rally (at times running the rally).
Ryan, who has been co-driving since 2002, boasts an impressive rallying history. Her achievements, to name a few, include:
- 2nd outright in the 2011 South Australian Rally Championship
- 2nd outright in the Classic Targa Adelaide in 2011
- 7th outright in the Alpine Historic Rally in 2011
- Outright winning navigator in the Early Modern Category at the 2010 Australian Tarmac Championship
- 4th in Early Modern at Targa Tasmania 2010
- 6th outright, 1st 2WD and 1st Classic at Kuitpo Forest Rally in 2010
The 2012 Bosch ARC comprises six events Australia-wide. The first round is Rally Calder on 2 March at Calder Park, Victoria.
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