Midday Update – Evans on a charge at Adelaide Hills Rally

Tankformers’ Eli Evans and Ben Searcy have come out firing in the second and final heat of the BOTT Adelaide Hills Rally, the Victorian out to make amends after a clash with a tree saw the pair finish 13th outright in heat one in the Skoda Fabia R5.

Evans holds a 23.3 second lead over yesterday’s heat winners Toyota Genuine Parts’ Harry Bates and John McCarthy at the midday service, with Contel Communications Steve Glenney and Andy Sarandis in third and Subaru do Motorsport’s Molly Taylor and Malcolm Read in fourth. South Australian’s Jamie Pohlner and Ken Moore sit in fifth.

Bates and Evans were again locked in a tight battle across the morning’s five stages, three stage wins going to Evans and one to Bates – but nothing could separate the pair on SS13, tied in a dead heat after the 14.38-kilometre stage.

This morning’s stages took their toll on several competitors – Chris Higgs had a right front ball joint failure which caused a small car fire. Thankfully, they were able to extinguish it quickly and were working to rejoin the afternoon stages.

Bates and co-driver Dale Moscatt were forced to park the Toyota Corolla S2000 due to an engine drama, Nicholas Cagney and Adam Branford retired with a clutch issue and Damien Reed and Guy Tyler suffered mechanical failure in the Nissan Silvia.

In the South Australian Rally Championship, Jamie Pohlner and Ken Moore lead the way, with an 11 second advantage over Zayne Admiraal and Matthew Heywood. Newly crowned 2018 State Champions Peter Schey and Kate Catford sit in third.

ARC Top 5 – end SS13
1. #2 EVANS/SEARCY 42:04.7
2. #3 BATES/MCCARTHY 42:28.0 (+00:23.3)
3. #4 GLENNEY/SARANDIS 42:38.5 (+00:33.8)
4. #5 TAYLOR/READ 43:48.9 (+01:44.2)
5. #10 POHLNER/MOORE 47:24.7 (+05:20.0)

SARC Top 5 – end SS13
1. #10 POHLNER/MOORE 47:24.7
2. #9 ADMIRAAL/HEYWOOD 47:36.0 (+00:11.3)
3. #141 SCHEY/CATFORD 47:51.4 (+00:26.7)
4. #11 CAGNEY/DYCER 47:54.8 (+00:30.1)
5. #106 SELLEY/MCKENDRICK 48:20.3 (+00:55.6)

View full results here.