Evans claims fourth ARC title at Coffs Harbour 

Tom Howard

Sunday 18th November, 2018 - 6:20pm


Ben Searcy and Eli Evans have won the 2018 Australian Rally Championship pic: Wishart Media

Eli Evans and Ben Searcy survived an eventful Kennards Hire Rally Australia to claim the 2018 Australian Rally Championship title, the former’s fourth and his co-driver’s first.

The Skoda Fabia R5 driver recovered from a broken radiator on the opening day and a puncture on Day 2 to finish the event in sixth.

It was enough to secure the title despite Steve Glenney and Andy Sarandis topping the timesheet by 8 minutes 45.8s from Luke Anear and Jon Mitchell, while Andrew Penny and Rhys Llewellyn completed the podium.

Glenney came home ninth on the overall rally rankings to become the top Australian.

“It has been a crazy weekend and it was fantastic to be in the middle of the WRC field,” said Glenney.

Evans was classified 13th overall in the event, which he finished in style by conducting celebration doughnuts at the end of the Wedding Bells Power Stage.

“That was a really strange and bizarre year in the Australian Rally Championship. It was hard fought between three teams,” said Evans.

“We had a nice lead coming into this event but I did everything I could to give it away but we were still in a position today to finish and win the championship and that was what we were able to do.  

“I didn’t get the Super Special doughnut right so I had to get the victory doughnut right.”

The title swung towards Evans when nearest rival Harry Bates and John McCarthy retired from the event with a terminal engine issue on Saturday night.

The Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia runner had been in a commanding lead in the rally up until the drama struck.

Despite best efforts to repair the car for today’s action the team were forced to retire.

Bates’ exit followed that of fellow title contenders Molly Taylor and Malcolm Read.

The pair suffered a heavy crash into a hay bale which was guarding a tree on the second stage on Friday.

Rally Australia: Outright: Results (Top 10)

Pos Driver/Co-driver Car Time/Gap
1 GLENNEY/SARANDIS Skoda Fabia R5 3:26:53.8
2 ANEAR/MITCHELL Subaru Impreza WRX STI +17:51.4
3 A.PENNY/LLEWELLYN Subaru Impreza WRX STI +26:46.2
4 DUNN/PRIEST Subaru Impreza WRX STI +38:11.9
5 E.EVANS/SEARCY Skoda Fabia R5 +49:48.7
6 COLLITS/DAWSON Holden Commodore +55:34.2
7 L.BATES/McLOUGHLIN Toyota Corolla S2000 +56:03.7
8 RAEDEL/CARR Ford Falcon XR6 +1:17:37.1
9 HATTON/LONG Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +1:40:00.0
10 B.HAYES/C.HAYES Holden SS Commodore +2:44:21.9

Rally Australia: Leg 3: Results

Pos Driver/Co-driver Car
2 E.EVANS/SEARCY Skoda Fabia R5
3 L.BATES/McLOUGHLIN Toyota Corolla S2000
4 HATTON/LONG Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX
7 DUNN/PRIEST Subaru Impreza WRX STI
8 B.HAYES/C.HAYES Holden SS Commodore
9 COLLITS/DAWSON Holden Commodore
10 RAEDEL/CARR Ford Falcon XR6 comment policy

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