Eli Evans victory in WA equals Possum Bourne’s streak
Honda’s Eli Evans has won the Quit Forest Rally in WA and in the process equalled the eight-event winning the streak of the late Possum Bourne in the Australian Rally Championship.
Evans fought all day long with Renault’s Scott Pedder, the two swapping fractions of a second stage by stage with Pedder holding the upper hand until Evans was forced to back with after puncturing a front tyre.
Pedder winning the day, but Evans wining the weekend overall.
“It’s not getting easier, if anything it’s getting much, much harder!” said Evans.
“The 2WD formula is so competitive, and there are more than six guys here who could be standing on the top step of the podium today, I’m just very lucky it’s my turn again.”
“To have equalled Possum’s record here this weekend is very special; I don’t think it’s fully sunk in yet. Possum was someone that I looked up to as a kid. So I’ll head to South Australia now for the next Round ready to break the record.”
Pedder’s fight with Evans ended on Saturday, ironically also with a flat tyre.
“This has always been a tough rally for me,” said Pedder.
“We know the speed is there in the car, and unfortunately things like the flat yesterday happen to all of us. We finish knowing we have a good car, so we’ll get it rebuilt and ready for the next Round and really go hard for the win.”
Third overall today local Tom Wilde was happy to make it onto the final step of the podium after falling short on the last stage in Canberra. “Bill (Hayes, co-driver) turned to me on the start line of the last stage and reminded me what happened in Canberra, so yeah I was taking it pretty carefully to get it home,” said Wilde.
“The speed of the two guys in front (Eli and Scott) is immense “So I’m definitely happy to settle for third behind them in only our second event in the new car. But by the end of the year I want to be on their pace, if not in front.”
Michael Boaden meanwhile steered clear of trouble in his Volkswagen to finish the day in fourth. In fifth Brendan Reeves was pleased to see the finish line after another trouble filled day, a broken rim during the morning’s stages forced him to limp to the end with a flailing tyre which in turn smashed the brake lines leaving him battling to keep the Mazda2 on the road without front brakes.
Cody Crocker and co-driver Greg Foletta dominated the Side-by-Side challenge in the end, but they came under stern opposition by Michael Guest yesterday.
“Guesty’s got himself a flying machine,” said Crocker.
“On the third or fourth stage yesterday we managed to take 10 seconds out of him, and I think I got a bit too ahead of myself because he smashed us by 16 seconds on the next stage.”
“Then it was on, we would take a couple of seconds off him, then he’d take a couple of seconds off us, until we got to the last stage and his clutch let go. It was a shame it had to end like that,” added Cody.
The third Round of the East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship continues with Scouts Rally SA from the 24th to 26th May.