Simon Jansen’s return to the RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) has been somewhat of a frustrating one with COVID-19 causing cancellations to multiple events.
The 50-year-old last contested the ARC in full-flight during the mid-2000s and was hoping to notch up a number of milestones this year, but unfortunately has had to put the comeback on ice.
Though he has run in ARC events in previous years, 2021 was meant to be the year where he had a real go at major rounds since making his move up to Queensland from Tasmania.
The year started off well for him and wife Elysia Jansen, as the husband-wife duo steered their Mitsubishi Evo 6 to 14th overall in the Netier National Capital Rally.
It was a particularly important result for them, especially after they contested last year’s event in November, which ended prematurely due to a big crash.
The Queensland based crew then backed up Canberra’s result with finishes in both of May’s Accent Benchtops Rally Queensland’s heats – Sunday’s heat proving more successful as a top 10 finish.
Both results saw the Jansens end up 21st overall and eighth in the White Wolf Constructions Production Cup with multiple rounds in the season still remaining.
Since the lockdowns have occurred, the duo have only been able to run in a local event – the annual Ingham Toyota Forest Rally. It was here where the Jansens luck came to an end and they were unable to finish for a number of reasons, despite being very competitive within the stages.
Despite the lockdown induced pause in this year’s ARC season, Jansen is still remaining positive and is looking forward to continuing rallying when he gets the chance.
“It’s a bit frustrating not being able to do all the events we had scheduled to do like Gippsland, but for the ones that I have done this year – they’ve been good,” Jansen said.
“We had a big accident in Canberra last year on the Saturday. It was an expensive way to find out what a pipe end was. It was devastating.
“So after that, it was a big goal of ours to go back and to finish Canberra. We wanted to get it under the belt and tick it from our bucket list – which is what we did and it was great.
“Then Gympie was good. There were some great roads, it was well organised and it was a fun weekend too. I really hope that they run again there.
“When we came out of retirement, we just wanted to compete because we enjoy it. Once gravel gets in your blood, it stays there. We will continue to do as much as possible.
“Obviously we’re not just chasing a championship – the top five are in a league of their own. For us, it’s more about redemption and finishing events we haven’t in the past, as well as doing ones that are new.
“We’re also pretty happy with the Evo 6. We built it from scratch and after some minor issues, we feel we have sorted, it just takes time in sorting out a new car, so we’re itching for another event.”