Toyota 1-2 in Rally South Australia
- 26th July 2008, 6:00pm
Evans won all but one of the heat's 10 stages on the way to a comfortable 40.7s triumph from team-mate and championship leader Neal Bates.
Bates claimed the heat's other stage, to give TRD's S2000 Corollas a significant victory on a day dominated by the event's wet, slippery roads.
Bates' 40.2s gap to third placed Eli Evans extended his championship lead to 67 points ahead of the Subaru pilot.
Privateer Toyota runner Glen Raymond ended a heat-long battle with Spencer Lowndes tied for fourth position - a career-best result for the Victorian Group N (P) Corolla driver.
Simon Evans, Car #1 - Toyota Corolla S2000:
"Today's result is great and to move into fourth in the championship is another step to rectifying the tough start we have had to this season. The only thing I can control is how fast I drive the car, and at the moment I am driving really fast and things are looking good. The conditions were really tough today and all I could do was drive smart. The weather made it extremely tricky, but the Corolla was great under brakes by the end and it performed superbly. It's a great result for the whole team."
Neal Bates, Car #2 - Toyota Corolla S2000:
"We couldn't be happier with today. Simon and Sue had a great win and I was happy to play second fiddle as we extended our championship lead. It was very tough today, so in those conditions to have a 1-2 was rewarding. There were a couple of stages where it felt like the S2000 struggled a little, but the car won every stage of the heat so it clearly performed well in the difficult conditions. There are stages tomorrow that initially I thought would not suit the car, but after today, we might be in for a surprise."
Glen Raymond, Car #7 - Toyota Corolla Group N (P):
"It was great to score a career-best finish today and to also be one of three Toyotas in the top-four. We are really getting to know this car after three events and we are hoping to continue our good form in Heat 2."
Rally South Australia
Heat 1 - Final Results:
1) Simon Evans Toyota Corolla S2000 1h03m6.8s
2) Neal Bates Toyota Corolla S2000 +40.7
3) Eli Evans Subaru Impreza WRX +1:20.9
4) Glen Raymond Toyota Corolla Group N (P) +2:21.2
=4) Spencer Lowndes Mitsubishi Lancer EVO +2:21.2
6) Justin Dowel Mitsubishi Lancer EVO +3:38.8
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