With four RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship titles to his name, Simon Evans is certainly one of the all-time greats of Australian rally.
His first national foray was predominantly in front-wheel drive machinery, namely the Corolla Cup and Formula 2 classes in the mid-1990s.
Evans’ fortune started to turn in 1999 aboard the European built Volkswagen Golf Kit Car, as he and Sue Evans formed a more than successful partnership that would end up lasting just over a decade, amassing four titles.
The duo claimed their first event podium and finished in the 2000 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship’s outright top three at season’s end, and top Formula 2 driver.
From there, they battled in the iconic silver and black privateer Subaru Impreza but it took until 2006 to finally land a factory Australian Championship drive with Toyota Team Racing Australia with a debut win for the partnership at the Forest Rally in Western Australia.
That win was just the beginning as the Evans crew eventually went on to win their maiden title together that same year, before going back-to-back in 2007.
In 2008, the duo finished third behind Australian rally legend Neal Bates and his brother Eli Evans, before winning another two titles over the next two years.
Evans had played a major role in one of the ARC’s golden eras that featured a number of champion drivers and he wasn’t just making up the numbers either, with he and Sue constantly in the mix for rally wins and titles.
Speaking with Adrian Coppin during the latest edition of ARC Service Park, Evans revealed some of the toughest stars he came up against during his colourful career.
“There were so many fierce competitors throughout my time competing,” Evans said.
“Scott Pedder was always hard to beat when he was on song. Cody Crocker is an absolute legend and could just perform under pressure. He was like an iceman.
“The way I learnt to tackle Cody was to just leave him alone and concentrate on trying to beat him. Being consistently faster than him seemed to upset him more than anything else. I chose to do that instead of trying to play mind games.
“Possum Bourne was also so hard to race against due to his mind games in between stages and Ed Ordynski was another one who I enjoyed competing against.
“I had some great times racing against Ed. One of the most memorable times was when we were both having a bad day and out of the top three, so we started making beer bets before each stage, which made us perform better and actually win them outright.”
Click below to watch the latest episode of ARC Service Park.