“I always knew Canberra was going to be tough. It’s a tricky event and can be hard on the car and we didn’t really have enough of a buffer to feel comfortable with our lead” stated Evans.
In sub zero temperatures, the rally kicked off well for the ETS Racing Fuels supported team with a heat win on Saturday and the extra benefit of gaining a bonus point for winning the most amount of stages. “Sometimes those bonus points can make a difference at the end of the year, so it was great to have locked it in on Saturday” said Evans.
With their Subaru WRX GC8, now known as “The Beast”, performing well and delighting fans in the forest, the Evans Motorsport team looked towards Sunday as a chance to consolidate their points. An unfortunate off road excursion dropped them well down the leader board during the morning, with the service crew working hard to repair the car in the 30 minutes allowed. By the end of the day, Evans and Searcy had clawed their way back into the top ten which was enough to place them on the podium in 3rd position for the event overall and give them enough valuable points to increase their championship lead. “I couldn’t believe it” stated Evans. “When I went off the road and saw the damage to the car, I thought it might have been my rally over. The service crew did an outstanding job, I owe this one to the boys for keeping me in the event and making sure we are still in contention for the rest of the year”.
Searcy was also pleased with their eventual result and with the hard work of the crew “After a sensational day on Saturday with Simon driving like an absolute gun, Sunday was a disappointment when we went off the road. But the determination to get going again along with the massive effort by the crew was rewarded with a third place podium finish. I can’t wait to get to the next one!”.
With only a short break of three weeks before the next event, the crew will be working hard to prepare the car before round 3. The next event is the International Rally of Queensland based out of the Sunshine Coast on June 17 – 19.
Photo: John Doutch
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Australian Rally Championship®