Simon Evans closes championship gap
Kincrome Racing’s Simon Evans has put himself firmly in contention for the Kincrome SXS Motorsport Australia Championship after an impressive third outright at Kooralbyn in South-East Queensland today.
Evans showed plenty of speed during his first ever appearance at The Compound venue, 80 minutes South-West of Brisbane, and it was only an electrical gremlin in heat two that cost him a possible outright victory.
Evans, who won the championship in 2018 before handing over the crown to his son Jackson the following year, now sits second in the championship battle on 284 points – just two behind the Gold Coast’s Stephen Henry.
Today’s event was won by Evans’ old rallying sparring partner Cody Crocker who completed 18 laps over the two heats in a time of two hours, 32 minutes and 28 seconds.
Zac Marsh and his co-driver Travis Rosewarne were another 29 seconds back in second.
Simon was fastest of both seven-car groups after heat one with nine laps completed in a time of one hour, 14 minutes and six seconds – one minute and four seconds faster than Marsh.
Evans was on target for an outright win when a loose throttle connection forced him to stop out on track.
He lost valuable time after being forced out of the car to rectify the issue, but raced his way back into contention.
Simon’s son Jackson, who is the defending series champion, had a strong start to the day in both the prologue and opening heat and was on target for a solid points haul when he damaged two drive shafts in heat two, forcing him to stop out on track after completing only one lap – he was classed 10th outright.
Jackson “made a mistake” on one of the big jumps in the opening heat which resulted in “one of the heaviest landings” of his SXS career.
The impact was so solid that Jackson’s co-driving wife, Claudia, received brief medical attention for upper body pain and was replaced for race two – she was cleared of any serious injury.
Jackson’s problems allowed his sister Eden to finish the event with bragging rights.
Eden completed six laps in both heats with her co-driver Shannon Jennings in the third Kincrome Racing entry to finish ninth outright and second in the Pro Sport class – her third podium from as many events in her debut season.
The pair now sit an impressive sixth in the outright championship – meaning KIncrome Racing entries fill three of the top six championship spots.
Fellow Team Kincrome member Chris Collins finished an impressive sixth outright with his co-driver Erika Savage today, despite two visits to the pit area for tyre damage in the opening heat.
Consistent performances in the opening three rounds has Collins in equal fourth place in the championship with Jackson.
Simon and Jackson will now compete in the SXS section of the famous Finke Desert Race in the Northern Territory next month before heading to Tasmania with Eden for round four of the Kincrome SXS championship on August 7.
SIMON EVANS – DRIVER/TEAM OWNER
“It was a pretty pleasing day to be honest,” said Simon.
“We had a good run in the prologue and then to be more than a minute ahead of the field after the opening heat was very encouraging.
“Unfortunately we had that problem in the second heat which cost us valuable time, so to still be on the podium is great.
“The result really puts us in the championship hunt and gives us plenty of motivation to keep developing and trying to find that extra bit of speed.
“Jackson had a tough day and I could not be more proud of Eden who showed so much resilience to finish both heats and put herself sixth in the championship.
“I could not be more proud of the way both of the kids (Jackson and Eden) are going about their business.”
JACKSON EVANS – DRIVER
“We were going to win it or bin it, unfortunately it was the latter,” said Jackson.
“We again had great speed earlier in the day and we were really pushing hard to continue our progress in race two, but the track bit and bit hard.
“I made a mistake in the opening heat and we had a major incident which resulted in the hardest landing I have ever had.
“It knocked me and (co-driver wife) Claudia around and we had to find a replacement for her for the second heat. Fortunately she was feeling much better at the end of the day.
“We did not get as many championship points as we could have, but we are still well in the hunt for back-to-back championships and we will push on.”
EDEN EVANS – DRIVER
“This track was so much different to anything else I have driven on before and it was great just to get to the end,” said Eden.
“It was tough, real tough, but we just kept chipping away and got to the finish.
“This year has been about consistency for us and getting as many miles as possible so we can keep our learning curve as step as possible.
“To collect our third class trophy in three events and to be sixth in the outright championship is a little surreal to be honest.
“The next round will produce something totally different again and we cannot wait.”
Overall Results round three (Combined two races)
1: Cody Crocker/Greg Foletta: 18 Laps – 2:32.28
2: Zac Marsh/Travis Rosewarne: 18 Laps – 2:33.07
3: Simon Evans/Ryan Preston: 17 Laps
4: Steve Henry/Steve Walton: 17 Laps
5: James Cook/Mitch Aucote: 17 Laps
6: Chris Collins/Erika Savage: 14 Laps
7: Tony Ross/Jason Chipp: 14 Laps
8: Eden Evans/Shannon Jennings: 12 Laps
9: Jackson Evans/Claudia Evans: 10 Laps
10: Trevor Finck/Tyler Fitzgerald: 10 Laps
11: Joshua Wiedman/Matthew Davidson: 9 Laps
12: TIm Liston/Pat Kelly: 9 Laps
13: Ross Newman/Dusty Austin: 5 Laps
14: Kye Floyd/Ally Hodge: 5 Laps
2021 Championship points – after round 3
1: Stephen Henry – 286
2: Simon Evans – 284
3: Trevor Fink – 274
4: Jackson Evans – 270
4: Chris Collins – 270
6: Eden Evans – 250
7: Cody Crocker – 200
8: Mathew keen – 170
9: James Cook – 166
10: Jake Williams – 156
11: Zac March – 96
12: Nathan Weisel – 92
2021 – Kincrome SXS Championship
Round 1 – Rainbow, Victoria – March 13
Round 2 – Alice Springs, Northern Territory, April 17
Round 3 – Kooralbyn, Queensland, May 15
Round 4 – St Helens, Tasmania, August 7
Round 5 – Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, September 11
Round 6 – The Bend, South Australia, October 16
Round 7 – Nabiac, New South Wales, November 13