Eli Evans has broken his CAMS Australian Rally Championship drought winning the weekend’s Make Smoking History Forest Rally around Nannup and Busselton, in Western Australia’s picturesque South-West.
The win is the first for Evans since the Scouts Rally SA in 2015 and the first for the Tankformers driver since pairing with a new co-driver Ben Searcy at the end of 2017. It provisionally puts Evans/Searcy into the ARC points lead after two rounds. “It’s such a relief, it probably hasn’t sunk in yet until we do the champagne spray,” Evans said.
“From winning so many rallies in a row and being so successful to being two and a half years without a win it was hard and I actually did start to doubt myself. But this has given me a huge hit of confidence and excites me about the Mini Cooper at the next event. What we need it to do to beat Steve (Glenney), Harry (Bates) and Molly (Taylor). We’re not quite there yet with our car but I’m confident we can try and replicate what this Skoda R5 can do and it shows that it’s fast out there. The guys are driving fast. Yeah, it looked like we did it easy but Ben and I were on it all weekend.” Eli Evans.
Back in the West Australian forests for the first time in a decade Steve Glenney and his co-driver Andy Sarandis backed up their second outright placing at Targa Tasmania last weekend standing in second position on the Forest Rally podium.
“The roads over here in Western Australia are brilliant, I love them, but they are so tricky, so much concentration is required. But I guess we got away with it. it’s testament to the reliability of the Subaru’s as a proven product.” Steve Glenney.
The battle for the third on the podium came down to the final stage of the rally with Molly Taylor/Malcolm Read holding off a fight from Glen Raymond/Kathryn Catford to take the result.
Images: ARC and Tim Allott
Local favourites Brad Markovic/Toni Feaver finished equal sixth outright in the ARC and clean-swept the CAMS Onslow WA Rally Championship, winning both Heats and taking all important State championship points. The crews of Mike Young/Scott Beckwith and John O’Dowd/Tom Wilde finished the WARC tied second on points at the end of the weekend.
Adding to the spectacle in the forest were the WA Clubman Masters and WA Clubman Cup series. Arguably the best entry level rally championship in Australia, the Clubman competition runs over the same forest stages as the main competition but only on Saturday.
Chris Bowley and Stephen Wade dominated the Clubman Cup winning the event by more than two minutes. Graeme/Kathy Miles finished the event in second with Simon Gratton/Richard Harris third. Kiel Douglas/Ross Burton won the Clubman Masters by 20 seconds ahead of Jason Lowther/Gregory Flood with Carl and Tracey Rattenbury rounding out the podium.
CAMS Australian Rally Championship
1. Eli Evans/Ben Searcy – Skoda Fabia R5
2. Steve Glenney/Andy Sarandis – Subaru WRX STI
3. Molly Taylor/Malcolm Read – Subaru WRX STI
4. Glen Raymond/Kathryn Catford – Subaru Impreza WRX STI
5. Harry Bates/John McCarthy – Toyota Yaris
6= Brad Markovic/Toni Feaver – Subaru Impreza WRX
6= Lewis Bates/Dale Moscatt – Toyota Corolla
8. John O’Dowd/Tom Wilde – Subaru Impreza WRX STI
9. Adrian Coppin/Erin Kelly – Skoda Fabia R5
10. Ross Dunkerton/Lisa Dunkerton – Subaru Impreza WRX STI
- Glen Raymond/Kathryn Catford
- Brad Markovic/Toni Feaver
- Ross Dunkerton/Lisa Dunkerton
- Haowen Chu/Glenn Alcorn
CAMS Onslow Contracting WA Rally Championship
- Brad Markovic/Toni Feaver – Subaru WRX STI
2= Mike Young/Scott Beckwith – Honda Civic
2=John O’Dowd/Tom Wilde – Subaru Impreza WRX STI
WA Clubman Masters
- Kiel Douglas/Ross Burton – Holden Commodore VS SS
- Jason Lowther/Gregory Flood – Toyota Corolla
- Carl Rattenbury/Tracy Rattenbury
WA Clubman Cup
- Chris Bowley/Stephen Wade – Ford Fiesta ST
- Graeme Miles/Kathy Miles – Mitsubishi Lancer
- Simon Gratton/Richard Harris – Honda Civic
Alison van den Dungen ● +61 408 356 539 ● email@example.com
EDITED by AC