Simon Evans withdraws from Rally Queensland
- 25th May 2012, 1:49pm
Evans quickly came to grips with the all-new car which completed a full day's testing on the rally's official test stage. However a number of major concreting projects are at a critical stage for Evans and he has been forced to postpone his competition debut in the car until round four in South Australia at the end of July.
However rally fans will be able to catch the exciting new machine at Caloundra this weekend when 2011 Bosch ARC runner up and Sunshine Coast local, Ryan Smart, gets to drive it on the Airport Super Special Stage as a 0 car on Saturday evening. The car will also be on display at the ceremonial start on Friday evening at Kings Beach.
"I am pretty devastated, the car is just fantastic, quick, responsive and a ball to drive, and our times on the test stage indicate it will be more than a match for the Hondas," said Evans.
"We weren't sure whether the car would be ready for this weekend and so we had to push on with projects in my concreting business but Mick and the team did a great job completing the car so I was faced with a dilemma," he said.
"I have to think of my main livelihood and I cannot neglect my business, so regretfully we will have to delay the debut until Adelaide," he added.
"It will give Mick and the boys more time to fine tune the car even more and do more testing to see what, if anything, needs to change," Simon said.
Rallyschool team principal Mick Ryan said he would have loved to have had Simon and Sue in the car this weekend but understands the dilemma and respects the decision.
"The car is really brilliant, we are stoked at how good it is and how fast it was straight out of the box," said Mick.
"But I know it will be better if we can test some more and have Simon totally focussed on the job in Adelaide rather than worrying about work back at home this weekend," he said.
"We were very pleased with the times it was achieving on the test stage, Simon did a recce run and then one quick sighting run before setting a time that was more than competitive with the opposition," he added.
"We used the test to give our gearbox guys from Hollinger a run so that they can better understand the car and we will be pulling the box out and sending it to Hollinger so they can assess lifing of components etc and fine tune the box."
"Our suspension guru Murray Coote, who won the 1988 ARC in a Mazda went for a ride with Simon and was blown away by the speed of the car, declaring we didn't need to time the stage, no one would drive around the loop quicker than Simon just had with him in the car," Mick quipped.
"I know a lot of people were really keen to see the car in anger this weekend but Ryan Smart will show some of its potential when he drives it at the Caloundra Airport Super Special on Saturday night," he added.
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