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The Evans brothers, Simon and Eli, finished 1-2 in the 2008 Sprint Auto Parts Rally South Australia and after the first competitive section of the 2009 event are already looking like repeating that winning form.

Simon and co-driving wife Sue (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9) led Brother Eli and co-driver Glen Weston driving a Subaru to ensure the family team finished 1-2 in the inaugural Pedders ‘No Bull’ shootout held in the Mount Crawford forest this morning.

From a field of 16 qualifiers, the ten fastest cars ran in reverse order across the 2.24km forest stage held in wet and muddy conditions.

After qualifying fastest, Evans was the last car to run though the Shootout stage and set the fastest time of 1m39.2, seven-tenths quicker than his brother and teammate. It gave Evans ten points towards the overall rally results for this weekend, though the score does not affect his eight-point ARC lead over Bates.

The new concept to Rallying was popular with teams and the media present, ARC director and shootout sponsor Scott Pedder indicating that the event could potentially become a mainstay of the full championship in 2010.

This morning’s 1-2 result also netted the Evans family team $800 of the possible $1000 prize money on offer, no doubt pleasing the hard-working crew who are preparing two different cars from two different manufacturers this weekend.

“There’s no doubt the guys are cheering at the moment, it’s some good beer money for after the Rally!” Simon Evans said.

“It’s fantastic to see Pedders back behind Australian Rallying and putting their money into the sport.

“This (The shootout) is a good concept and it was a lot of fun. It’s great to see young guys like Eli and Raymo (Glen Raymond) performing well and it shows how competitive it’s going to be this weekend.”

Conditions were difficult for competitors this morning, prompting Evans to be asked if he would be taking a more cautious approach this weekend.

In his typical effervescent fashion, his answer was simple and to the point: “No!”

Toyota Corolla driver Neal Bates was third, though his time was slower than his qualifying benchmark.

Glen Raymond was fourth in a Group N-P Corolla, just 1.8 seconds off Evans’ fastest time, though their car broke a gearbox during the mornings’ activities and as such will not start tonight’s two Coates super special stages at the Angaston Oval.

Queensland privateers Ryan and Rebecca Smart were fifth overall, upsetting some of the more fancied and higher-profile Australian Rally Championship (ARC) runners.

Leading South Australian competitors Matt Selly and Claire Ryan (Subaru Impreza WRX STi) were the top local competitors scoring eighth place.

Activ RallySport's Justin Dowel was third fastest in the practice, but had a fuel pump problem in the final, finishing tenth.

Competitors will regroup this afternoon at the Mount Pleasant service park before heading to Angaston for the first of two nights at the popular Coates Super Special stage – two runs around the tricky stage to be contest on each night.

The first Forrest stage will be held Saturday morning on the popular, high-speed, Goldfields stage near the towns of Rowland Flat and Lyndoch.

Top 10 times:

1. Simon Evans, Mitsubishi,1m39.2s

2. Eli Evans, Subaru, 1m39.9s

3. Neal Bates, Toyota, 1m40.5s

4. Glen Raymond, Toyota, 1m41.0s

5. Ryan Smart, Mitsubishi, 1m43.5s

6. Brett Kipling, Mitsubishi, 1m44.7s

7. Matt van Tuinen, Subaru, 1m44.8s

8. Matt Selley, Subaru, 1m45.0s

9. Michael Boaden, Mitsubishi, 1m45.2s

10. Justin Dowel, Mitsubishi, 2m27.7s (fuel pump problem)

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