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Toyota Rally driver Simon Evans has claimed his second consecutive NEC Australian Rally Championship with victory in the season ending NGK Rally of Melbourne over the weekend.

Evans and co-driver wife Sue continued their domination of the Australian rally scene with a comprehensive victory in their home event.

As they have been all year, the pair was the dominant crew in the season finale on their way to victory in both heats aboard their Caltex-backed Toyota Corolla.

While victory in yesterday’s opening heat was enough to clinch back-to-back driver’s championships for Evans and the Caltex-backed Toyota outfit, the likeable Victorian didn’t let up during today’s final heat.

Despite being pressured by Ford’s Michael Guest, who won four out of the eight stages contested, Evans showed true championship character to take out the final heat and remain undefeated throughout the 2007 championship in the process.

"This is fantastic. The entire team has worked really hard all year and you get out of it what you put into it,” said Evans.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself to back it up this year and it is different to the first title. It is less emotional but to do it in the way we have is fantastic, but I tell you what - I am going to hate the day we come second.

“This championship isn’t just about me - it is the whole team, the car and of course Sue. The team works so hard to give me a car that I pound and punish and drive into the ground at every event and the Corolla hasn't missed a beat all year.

“In my opinion true champions finish in the way they started. We started with a win, so we wanted to finish with another one."

Team boss Neal Bates and co-driver Coral Taylor finished third overall on the weekend, courtesy of a third and fourth placing in each of the two heats, to secure a one-two in the overall championship for the Caltex-backed Toyota team.

“We’ve got an amazing team who do such a good job when they prepare these cars, so thanks to all the boys here and back in the workshop,” beamed Neal.

“We know there is more to come with this car, we’ll head back to Canberra and spend the next few months making this car faster, lighter and stronger.”

The opening round of the 2008 NEC Australian Rally Championship is the coates Rally Queensland on March 8/9, 2008.

NGK Rally Melbourne – Round 6 NEC Australian Rally Championship

Heat Two Results – Top Six
1) Simon Evans (Toyota Corolla Gp N (P)) 57:58.1
2) Michael Guest (Ford Fiesta S2000) +11.0
3) Spencer Lowndes (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO Gp N) +26.5
4) Neal Bates (Toyota Corolla S2000) +1:16.3
5) Justin Dowel (Mitsubishi Lancer Gp N) +2:37.9
6) Stewart Reid (Toyota Corolla Gp N (P)) +4:00.1

Heat One Results – Top Six
1) Simon Evans (Toyota Corolla Gp N (P)) 1:1813.6
2) Spencer Lowndes (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO Gp N) +1:01.6
3) Neal Bates (Toyota Corolla S2000) +1:56.7
4) Brett Kipling (Mitsubishi Lancer Gp N) +4:50.2
5) Michael Guest (Ford Fiesta S2000) +5:34.9
6) David Hills (Mitsubishi Lancer Gp N) +5:50.6

Overall – Top Six
1) Simon Evans (Toyota Corolla Gp N (P))
2) Spencer Lowndes (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO Gp N)
3) Neal Bates (Toyota Corolla S2000)
4) Michael Guest (Ford Fiesta S2000)
5) Justin Dowel (Mitsubishi Lancer Gp N)
6) Stewart Reid (Toyota Corolla Gp N (P))

NEC Australian Rally Championship.
Top Six after Round 6 of 6:

1) Simon Evans 524.5 points
2) Neal Bates 368
3) Dean Herridge 264
=4) Michael Guest 228
=4) Spencer Lowndes 228
6) Brendan Reeves 182
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