Reigning Australian Rally Champion Simon Evans heads to Western Australia for the second round aiming to score the first victory of his title defence.

Evans and co-driver wife Sue finished second at the season’s opening round last month, the tarmac Rally Tasmania event.

After being forced to use harder compound versions of the new Kumho control tyre than some of his main rivals (due to supply issues), Evans was just 49.9s behind eventual winner Scott Pedder after three days of rallying.

Last year, Evans scored his third championship victory in four years. In 2010, the Evans duo has switched to a Subaru Impreza WRX in an attempt to become the first driver ever to win the Australian Rally Championship in three different makes of car (after previously having won in Toyotas and a Mitsubishi).

This week’s Quit Forest Rally in Western Australia is one of Simon Evans’s favourite events in the Australian Rally Championship, having won in the forests surrounding Busselton on three occasions in the past.

“I am really looking forward to Western Australia, and getting back to some sideways action again,” said Evans in reference to the season’s first gravel event.

“It is such a nice, relaxing and well-run event – it’s a long way away, but it’s worth it. I love the challenge on those roads as well.

“The surface is so slippery with that ball-bearing type gravel, that it really sorts out the drivers. The slippery surface means that engine power is not so important, which will help us.

“Tyre wear is also a big factor when the roads are slippery – if we all have the exact same control tyre then a lot will come down to how the drivers manage their tyre wear, especially in the longer stages.

“Tasmania was a good event for us – we did about as well as we possibly could have, given the tyre situation. We drove the wheels off the Impreza, and second was the absolute best we could do.

“Hopefully, we will all be on a level playing field in Western Australia, and the drivers can all have a bit of a shootout in the forest.”

Round 2 of the Australian Rally Championship, the Quit Forest Rally in Western Australia takes place April 16-18.
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