Evans fights back with superb Race 2 win
Simon Evans avoided the drama to win an epic second race at Hampton Downs today in the second round of the Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship.
He held off a charging Rowan Shepherd to take his second race victory in the championship in a fine race that saw three leaders.
"Rowan was coming at me on that last lap, he did a really good job, I just managed to hold him off at the end there," said the race winner afterwards.
"I want to win the main races, not so much the top ten reverse grid ones but I'll take it for the championship. We’ll keep chipping away at it. It’s another good result, I had a bad start in the race this morning."
With a grid based on the reverse top ten finishing order from the morning race at the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Festival, it was Alexandra Whitley and Mark Mallard sitting on the front row.
At the lights it was Whitley that got away slightly cleaner to take the lead. Mallard meanwhile, was under pressure from Justin Allen who started from the second row. Heavy contact between the two after Mallard’s throttle failed at Turn 1 ended Allen’s race, ruined Mark’s and brought out the Safety Car for two laps.
At the restart Whitley got away well but was quickly caught and passed by the evergreen John Penny and he held the lead until a charging Evans found a way through. Once Rowan Shepherd went by he slowly began to reel in Evans and with a lap to go was right on his tail. Evens put his considerable experience to good use and defended well, just enough to cross the line ahead of Shepherd.
Brock Gilchrist made his way through the field well to come home third, while Penny held on for an impressive fourth.
Series leader Ryan Wood was making good progress before contact at the downhill sweeper lost him momentum and several places. He eventually came home sixth behind Marco Giltrap who continues to impress in his opening Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship.
Ronan Murphy followed Wood's rear bumper all the way to the line for seventh while team mate Christina Orr-West came home eighth despite heavy contact with Whitley that sent the Tony Richards Toyota racer to the back of the field.
Todd Foster brought his car home an impressive ninth while Tayler Bryant rounded out the top ten in his MTF Finance supported TR86.
Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship - Round 2 – Race 2
- Simon Evans
- Rowan Shepherd
- Brock Gilchrist
- John Penny
- Marco Giltrap
- Ryan Wood
- Ronan Murphy
- Christina Orr-West
- Todd Foster
- Tayler Bryant
- Tony Austin
- Alexandra Whitley
- Mark Mallard
DNF – Justin Allen