Four times Australian Rally Champion Simon Evans is certain the new Bosch Australian Rally Champion two-wheel-drive formula is the solution to re-building the sport as well as attracting more manufacturers.
The ARC is currently in a transitional period with the phasing out of all-wheel-drive vehicles such as the Subaru WRX and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution models.
The future direction is being focussed on the G2 regulations with Honda already campaigning the Jazz model with Eli Evans and Mark Pedder, while Mazda has put support behind a G2 spec Rallyschool.com.au built and prepared vehicle.
Evans will steer the Mazda2 at the upcoming Scouts Rally of South Australia on July 28-29 and recently completed his third test session in the vehicle.
The test took place in wet and muddy conditions in the forests around Powelltown East of Melbourne and despite single digit temperatures the test was also observed keenly by senior Mazda executives.
“Mazda definitely has interest in what the Rallyschool.com.au team is doing with the Mazda2,” Simon Evans said.
“I think a few other manufacturers are also waiting to see how the Australian built Mazda2 goes against the European built Honda Jazz.
“I'm really impressed by the quality Mick Ryan and the team at Rallyschool have produced. It's a great car that's been built properly and built to be driven fast.
“I've driven a lot of different cars over the years and I feel the future of Australian rally is two wheel drive.
“Manufacturers are building and selling two wheel drives, they are what the public are buying and it's what we need to be racing.”
According to car owner and builder, Mick Ryan, Evans' comments were echoed by the attending Mazda executives and the test went well despite the inclement weather.
“Mazda said the car was well built and a very professional car,” said Mick Ryan.
“It was a positive test, we had no dramas and it was good to have different conditions to the last two tests particularly given we could well have rain and muddy conditions when the car debuts at the end of the month.”
Evans' younger brother Eli Evans has dominated the opening half of the Bosch two wheel drive ARC but Simon is hoping the Mazda will put an end to Eli's charge.
“I just want to beat my brother!” Simon Evans declared.