Simon Evans has won his fourth Australian Rally Championship in the last five years after a dominating win at the International Rally of Queensland – his third in a row in this year’s series.

The 2010 title continues a remarkable run for Evans and his co-driver wife Sue, adding to championship victories in 2006, 2007 and 2009.

Evans has now won four championships in three different makes of rally car; scoring consecutive titles for Toyota in 2006 and 2007, winning in a Mitsubishi Lancer in 2009, and finally success in a Subaru Impreza this year.

As a result, Evans has now won Australian Rally Championships in every make of Group N rally car to have ever competed in the ARC.

The Tankformers Subaru team began the weekend eking out a three second lead after the Caloundra Super Special Stages on Friday night.

The Victorian couple then went on to win every one of the remaining eight stages of Leg 1 on Saturday – ably dealing with the wet and choppy road conditions of the morning. At the end of Leg 1, Evans led the ARC section by 3m20.7s.

The Evans onslaught continued on Sunday, as the reigning champion went on to win seven out of eight stages in Leg 2, taking his total for the event to 17 out of 18 – the largest margin coming on the 13th stage of the event as Evans went 45.1s faster than the next driver on stage.

Evans finished the event 6m21s ahead of Mark Pedder, who was second in the Australian Rally Championship category.

After comfortably winning both the Asia Pacific Rally Championship and Australian Rally Championship sections at the Queensland event in 2009, the Evanses chose to only enter the ARC competition for 2010 to ensure their focus was entirely on wrapping up the 2010 title.

Despite not officially being entered in the APRC, a comparison with the leading runners in that category shows the Tankformers crew completing the event 2m17.4s faster than the APRC winner.

The only drama for Simon and Sue Evans throughout the Queensland event came after the final service break when their car’s gear lever broke.

Evans managed the situation by shifting gears with the shaft that comes out of the gearbox, while continuing to win stages in the ARC and further extend his lead.

“I feel extremely satisfied,” said a relieved Simon Evans after the event.

“It’s a nice feeling to have won the championship in three different types of cars – and it was nice to see the car that won me my first championship [the Toyota Corolla Group N (Prototype) in the hands of Ryan Smart sitting alongside my new champion earlier.

“Right now, I just want to get back and relax with the Tankformers team.

“They have done a fantastic job sorting the Subaru this year, and we have barely had a single mechanical problem all season – so I will be spending some quality time with them later.”

As for the International Rally of Queensland...

“The conditions were much better today – it was dry and the roads were in very good condition, which made it more enjoyable.

“Of all the times to have a problem... I could not believe it when the gear lever broke in my hand after the final service of the event.

“Fortunately it wasn’t a huge issue and I could work around it relatively comfortably.

“Sue was fantastic as always – she is an absolute professional in the car.

“We worked as well as we ever have this weekend, and I think that was an important factor in the times we achieved.

“Now I am looking forward to getting to the Rally Victoria in November and celebrating with our family and friends – it should be a bit of a party atmosphere down there.”
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