Honda And Evans Win The Two-Wheel Drive Trophy At Rally Calder

Honda And Evans Win The Two-Wheel Drive Trophy At Rally Calder 2012
The Honda Jazz of Eli Evans and Glen Weston finished first outright in the two-wheel drive category at the end of an action-packed Rally Calder this weekend.

Evans praised the team’s strategy going into the final heat. “We’ve managed to clean sweep two-wheel drive, it’s a dream start. Everything went to plan. I’ve been told to win and that’s exactly what we’re here to do. We stuck to our game plan which was stay out of trouble, keep it neat, get out of the corners and get to the next corner as fast as I can. I didn’t worry about the stage times too much, I just focussed on getting to the next corner.”

Despite the challenges of yesterday, the Evans Motorsport team put in a huge effort to get Mark Pedder and Claire Ryan’s car back on track and the team were happy with the resulting placing in Heat Three. “The strategy for today was to drive as quick as we could in the conditions. We wanted to see how close we could get to Eli and try and get between him and Jack [Monkhouse] to get Eli the most points and make sure he came away with the win, which is what we’ve done,” Pedder said.

The two car combination this year is going to help the Evans Motorsport team’s efforts. “This is the beauty of running two cars. If one has a drama and they can get back in the rally, they can help the other out,” Pedder said.

Pedder praised the Honda. “The Jazz is awesome, it is the best rally car I have ever driven. It’s so much fun!”

Evans and Weston were strong all weekend and proved the mix of Australian, European and Japanese technology makes for a winning combination. “It’s all fallen into place,” Evans said. “We’re all smiles because the G2 Jazz has been amazing. When I was driving the Civic Type R I thought, what a fantastic car, it was a dream come true. I feel as though it’s gone to the next level with the Jazz and the involvement of Honda. We’re pretty happy right now.”

Conditions out on the stages were still proving difficult for competitors. “It’s still like a swap out in the gravel section but that’s rallying. The show must go on. You’re always faced with different challenges and you just need to drive accordingly. We make sure that we do our homework and it’s paid off.”

Evans said the event has been a success. “It was a lot of fun and pretty relaxed overall. It felt more like a circuit race, you had to be so precise because any little mistake would cost you a lot of time.”

The next round of the Bosch ARC takes place in Busselton, Western Australia on March 31 and Evans is looking forward to it. “With the wet set-up here, you take that straight into WA because it’s so slippery over there. Even when it’s dry, the ball-bearing surface feels like it’s wet. There will be some fine tuning with suspension but it’s going to be a pretty good package overall. The car feels strong and I can’t wait to get into the forests to let the Jazz do its thing.”

The addition of Mark Pedder and Claire Ryan to the Evans Motorsport team has given the group a real buzz and excited rally fans. “It’s great having Mark and Claire out there. It’s their first event and I was impressed with their times. They actually beat me on one of the stages,” Evans said.

The rivalry ends there, however. “It was disappointing they had some mechanical issues. The cars are identical and that issue yesterday was something that’s been identified now. My car will also get pulled apart and assessed to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Evans said.