Mazda very nearly had a dream debut in the Bosch Australian Rally Championship with Simon Evans challenging Honda's dominance of the Bosch Two Wheel Drive Australian Rally Championship throughout the opening four stages of today's competition.
However, it was his younger brother Eli Evans in the factory Honda Jazz that finished the day in the lead at Scouts Rally of South Australia topping the two wheel drive time sheets by 3.9 seconds edging out his older sibling on his return to the championship.
Simon Evans in the G2 spec Mazda2 went blow for blow with his younger brother in the Jazz over the four stages with fellow Honda driver Mark Pedder in third despite losing time on the second stage because of a flat tyre on this the fourth round of the Championship
South Australian, Jack Monkhouse, led the two wheel drive category after the first three stages in his Nissan Sylvia S15 but it suffered a broken rear suspension preventing him from running the last stage of the day.
While Simon Evans was happy with the speed of the Mazda on debut, he feels the car has potential to go even quicker.
“We're really happy with the car so far,” said Simon Evans.
“Already we have earmarked a few areas we can improve on, but it's been a great day.”
In the Bosch four wheel drive ARC, New South Welshman Michael Boaden, in his Mitsubishi Evo 9, carried his form from the previous round and holds a lead of 34 seconds over Queensland Evo 10 driver Steve Shepheard, with WA young guns Tom Wilde in an Evo 10 and Nic Box in an Evo 9 in third and fourth respectively heading into the second day of competition.
Despite testing conditions Boaden won every one of the four stages and has his sights set on back to back round wins.
“All the rain last night made it really slippery and interesting out there today,” said Boaden.
“The car's feeling really good at the moment and I'm just hoping to keep our nose in front.”
The crews face another seven stages in the Mt Crawford tomorrow before the final five stages on Sunday, with the leading cars expected to cross the podium in the Adelaide parklands at 2pm.
Scouts Rally South Australia : Standings after Day 1
Bosch Two Wheel Drive Australian Rally Championship
|Eli Evans/Glen Weston
|Simon Evans/Sue Evans
|Mark Pedder/Claire Ryan
Bosch Four Wheel Drive Australian Rally Championship
|Michael Boaden/Helen Cheers
|Mitsubishi Evolution IX
|Steven Shepheard/John McCarthy
|Tom Wilde/Lee Tierney
|Mitsubishi Evolution X
Check out the Day 1 highlights