Evans seals victory in National Capital Rally
Eli Evans has strengthened his hold on the CAMS Australian Rally Championship after converting an overnight lead into a thorough victory at the Netier National Capital Rally.
Evans, navigated by Ben Searcy, took the Tankformers Skoda Fabia R5 to another three stage wins and won the rally by nearly five minutes.
Already in a strong position, their job was made easier when Steve Glenney’s Contel Communications Subaru WRX STI blew a turbo in the second last stage of the weekend.
Glenney dropped to third outright behind Adrian Coppin (Yes! Optus Skoda Fabia R5) by the end of the 15th and final stage as a result.
Harry Bates was the only driver who could deny Evans stage wins, taking another three on the Sunday in the Toyota Genuine Parts Toyota Yaris AP4.
However, he too had suffered a blown turbo while sitting second the day prior, and his final day charge was only good enough for fifth overall behind Asia Pacific Rally Championship competitor Yuya Sumiyama (Cusco Racing Skoda Fabia R5).
“We’re stoked,” said Evans.
“It was a tough weekend and we had some really good competition from Steve Glenney and Harry Bates. Both the guys had car troubles over the weekend, one each day, (which) took a little bit of stress off us.
“The Skoda R5 was fantastic, MRF tyres were excellent in these conditions, so rocky and abrasive on Day 1 and dusty and loose on Day 2, but I had the confidence to drive as fast as I can.
“Harry was going to be fast here, we knew that and he was, and Steve I think probably drive of the event maybe. We won but Steve in a production car did an exceptional job; he’s keeping up and putting the pressure on us all the time.
“It’s exciting, it’s great and if you back off for a couple of corners you will finish fourth, fifth on stage so it’s fantastic.”
Molly Taylor (Subaru do Motorsport WRX STI) finished sixth overall.
Evans’ second round win of the season adds to his championship lead, with the battle resuming at Subaru Rally Tasmania on July 27-29.
Results: National Capital Rally (Top 10)
|1||E.EVANS/SEARCY||Skoda Fabia R5||2:41:23.7|
|2||COPPIN/WESTON||Skoda Fabia R5||+04:58.4|
|3||GLENNEY/SARANDIS||Subaru Impreza WRX STI||+06:13.5|
|4||SUMIYAMA/YASUI||Skoda Fabia R5||+07:36.2|
|5||H.BATES/McCARTHY||Toyota Yaris AP4||+09:16.6|
|6||M.TAYLOR/READ||Subaru Impreza WRX STI||+12:03.9|
|7||MASUMURA/TANAKA||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X||+21:37.3|
|10||FRISIERO/BARRABES COSTA||Peugeot 208 AP4||+7:14:17.1|
Championship points: After Round 3 (Top 10)