MULTIPLE Australian Champion Simon Evans is set for a return to the East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship in 2015.
Evans, who hasn’t featured at an ECB ARC Round since Rally Victoria in 2012, was a surprise addition at the final Round of the Victorian Rally Championship last year driving his brother’s Honda Civic Type-R in what could be a precursor to the upcoming 2015 season.
With his younger brother Eli confirmed to drive with Team Citroën Australia in the Citroen DS3 R3 campaigned last year by Tony Sullens, an opportunity presented itself for Simon to step into the Honda Civic.
“I was having a couple of beers with dad (Peter Evans) one Friday afternoon last year, and he asked me what I had planned for next year,” explained Simon. “I told him I had no rallying planned, and he asked if I’d be interested in driving the Honda.”
“Of course I was interested and that led to driving the car at the Bonnie Doon Rally,” added Evans, who finished the event in fourth place behind a trio of former ARC regulars in Darren Windus, Justin Dowel and Mark Pedder.
That State Championship outing is expected to lead to ARC appearances this year. “I’m keen, I know dad is too, it’ll really come down to my work commitments and how much time away I can give myself,” said Evans who runs a successful concertina business.
The addition of Simon Evans to the entry lists would be a major draw card alongside his brother Eli’s move to Citroen. It would also mark the first time the brothers, who have a total of six Australian Rally Championships between them, would be competing on equal terms.
For Simon it was the first time he’d competed in a front-wheel drive since his short stint in the Rallyschool Mazda2 in 2012, and the first time he’d driven a left-hand drive rally car since 2003.
“Someone asked me the last time I’d driven left-hand drive and it really made me stop and think. It turns out it was the Hella Subaru in 2003. I was probably a bit wide into the first few corners, but after that it just felt natural again.”
“The car (Honda) was actually fantastic to drive, a really easy car to drive. I wasn’t at the event to challenge for the win, I arrived with no expectations, I was just glad to be back in a rally car!” said Simon.
“If we run this year I’m honestly not there to win the Championship, I’m there to have fun. I have a small business to run too, so if that means missing a couple of events because of work then I will do that without a question.”