Simon Evans is showing his class by toasting everyone in the joint ARC/APRC round. After 5 stages he leads the ARC event by 100 seconds and he leads overall by 40 seconds to Cody Crocker.
I'm starved of live content as there's nearly zero live news for APRC and little from the ARC. Would be nice if Bruce's "live" podcast was a bit closer to the action. The APRC doesn't seem to consider itself to be a serious championship, rather a haven for misfits and exiled drivers.
Interesting to note that the fast drivers were also the drivers to lose less time in the dark. Bluetts was run both last night in the dark and today in the daytime. Considering the change in grip between day and night, those are even closer than they look.
Evans was 15 seconds faster in the day, Herridge 16 seconds, Crocker & Taguchi 18 seconds, Bates 20 seconds, Taylor 21 seconds, Kumar 23 seconds, Valimaki & Sungkar 28 seconds, Lowndes 29 seconds, Reeves 35 seconds, Green 43 seconds.
Molly Taylor, 14th on the daytime pass, 10th in the dark... read into that what you will.
I haven't been paying much attention to this rally, more of the fact that I prefer to watch it and make an assessment of it then and there.
It's a shame that Eli Evans made a mistake and had an off, I'm sure that's the last thing he needed after Rally WA. But it was nice to see Cody Crocker rallying back in Australia, it really pains me to think what might have been if Subaru and Mitsubishi stuck around.
And Evans has won Heat 1 by over a minute to Cody Crocker (who takes yet another APRC heat win).
Looking at that result, you can see why Subaru Australia pulled out of the ARC, because they could see that the highly modified NP formula was an unfair advantage over the rest of the field. Minus Evans, how close is it between the rest of the drivers? Crocker vs Bates. Herridge vs Bates?
You could read it that way, but I think that's a slap in the face for Evans. He's earnt these wins. He's on fire and he is just that good imo. Subaru may have taken their bat and ball and gone home, but that shouldn't take anything away from the driving of Simon Evans.
I'm guessing he'll be in an S2000 car as soon as he wraps up the championship. But he'll be just as fast in that (apparently he already thinks the S2000 is faster) and everyone will whinge about how he has the best car and how it's not fair on everyone else.
You only have to have a look at the in-car footage of his driving to see how good he is. He's absolutely in the zone! What I'd love to see is Alister McRae come down and rent a Bates Motorsport Corolla S2000 next season. Then you'd see how good the local drivers really are!
Evans, Crocker, Herridge and Bates all took it to the APRC competitors who are quite experienced international drivers. They really need a new challenge... how about Rally Australia? Oops, there is no Rally Australia? So drivers are forced to extreme lengths just to get some exposure... Cody Crocker to APRC, Dean Herridge to Japan, Scott Pedder to Rally New Zealand.
I REALLY hope the FIA decide to bring the PWRC championship down to Queensland for Rally Australia next year and I hope it becomes a round of the ARC too... that would really give the locals a chance to toast some big names!
Goes without saying that Simon has TOO much car. Great driver and deserves his success but the car is a rocket.
Spencer did a good job I thought... maybe some renewed interest from Mitsubishi in some shape or form is my mail.
The Fords were disappointing. Rolling in SS1 is unforgivable... I know that section of road very well, and I'm willing to bet that the fact they wrote notes in the day and rallied at night played a major factor in the crash. The road looks different at night and highlights small brows and dips much more readily... on a long fast cresty straight it's very easy to get out of sync. Need a landmark/ brake mark or something.
Peter Jerie did a good job of stuffing up the Mineshaft. That type of stuff just shouldn't happen, but it did. it's v.hard top judge the speed at the top, but you just gotta get off it. Been in that car with Pete, and my brothers business build/prepares the car. It's a bit bent, but luckily Pete and 16yo Tristan are Ok.
Youtube mineshaft crash... it's worth watching. So is the Dato which rolls down it... I've sat in with that bloke as well...lol- and Kev Shaw. I'm the link!
Simon rarely gets up that Corolla. When he does... it walks away from the opposition. If he went any faster they'd have to slow it down... so he dogs it. That's what I figure... I know where the car has a huge advantage, but I'm not gunna say too much... but if we could run the same numbers on an Evo9- we'd gain a heap. But we can't... Toyota can.
That's not to say Simon wouldn't be winning in an Evo/WRX. I think he would... but it blantantly obvious to most knowledgable observers that the Toyota is a faster car, both potentially, and in reality.
I talked with Tristan yesterday about that jump. He just thought that it was a very very cool jump and wasnt thinking anything at the air. He finded it quite normal and knew it was gonna be bad when he looked the speed. Pete just told to him that he wants to jump and so he did. (vid is at youtube). I know Pete only by Tristan and because he did a Dakar last year(to 4th stage or something).
Anyway I have been happy for years that some car does beat the regular N.gr cars and makes some colour to Mitsubishi vs Subaru fight. I cant follow the ARC too much only by results but with all those cars I find it more intresting by the top than our own serie, where are too short rallyes and full of N.gr Mitsubishi´s or gr.n Honda Civic´s.