One well-balanced couple on this year's Quit Targa West will be the Sydney-based racing motoring journalist pairing of Dean Evans and Samantha Stevens, who will be competing for top honours in their Hankook TMR Evolution X MR.

As the fastest male and female motoring journos in Australia, there is a distinct balance and understanding in the cabin - call it 'Evans-Stevens' symbiosis. They will also be the only NSW crew in the Perth-based event.

Promoting Hankook high performance tyres, the Evo will run on the new Ventus TDZ221 R-spec tyre, the newest tarmac tyre onto the Aussie market, that has already proven itself with an impressive 10th outright at this year's Targa Tasmania, 4th outright at the Bathurst 12 Hour, and 3rd outright at the Eastern Creek six-hour.

Tarmac magazine editor Evans finished 10th in the Tasmanian six-day event and 3rd in Showroom class despite a number of technical issues that cost him the class win, while A Current Affair TV Motoring Editor Stevens finished 25th outright and 4th in Early Modern, driving her Century Yuasa Evolution VI.

This will be the couple's fifth rally together as a team, and they will pair up in the TMR Performance Evolution X MR, replete with twin-clutch SST gearbox, offering faster upshifts and seamless acceleration.

Previously run in 'Showroom' specification at Targa Tasmania, the car has recently undergone modifications to make it outright competitive, including a three-inch exhaust in compliance with the new CAMS technical allowances, and improved suspension. "We proved you could break into the top 10 at Targa with a mildly modified road car," explains Evans. "but we wanted to push further. We've now fitted the exhaust and proper rally coil-over suspension, so we're looking forward to a bit more power and handling that should exploit the grip of the Hankooks and make us a little more competitive."

Added Evans: "Sam and I experienced Quit Targa West in 2009 driving in the Challenge class. By the end of the event, we knew we wanted to return to challenge outright. We are both very close and trusting of each other - vital on Quit Targa West's challenging stages, and we're both looking forward to seeing the stages from a faster perspective."

On their expected performance with the new mods: "We are cautiously optimistic. Steve Jones' Nissan GT-R, Jim Richards' Porsche GT2 and a host of others will be very quick, so if we can get close to them on some stages, and maybe throw in some wet weather and a sprinkle of fortune, we might even be able to sneak onto the modern podium. We're not travelling across the continent to fluff around!"

The Hankook Tyres Evo X is supported by Melbourne's TMR Performance, who will prep and service the car. A full feature on the team's efforts and Quit Targa West will appear in a future issue of Tarmac magazine.
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