Evans wins Race 3 thriller
The Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship - well known for its competitive battles - saved its best race to last with a thriller that saw Simon Evans hold off fellow championship contenders Rowan Shepherd and Ryan Wood for an impressive second win of the weekend.
The battle commenced from the race start and lasted through a brief Safety Car period and all the way to the flag. Try as they might, neither Shepherd nor Wood could break the deadlock and an ice cool Evans raced home to his second win of the day for Wet and Forget Racing.
From the very start the top three drivers all within a tenth of a second of each other as Evans led Shepherd and Wood with just half a second covering them in the early stages of the 15 lap race. Brock Gilchrist ran just a few tenths behind them, with Marco Giltrap storming along nicely again, a couple of tenths further back.
It stayed like that for the first six laps before a Safety Car came out on lap eight when Mark Mallard went off in the first sector, but he was able to rejoin a minute or so later and the race resumed quickly.
Evans led away again and once again Shepherd, Wood and Gilchrist lined up nose to tail behind him. Evans isn’t a multiple racing champion for nothing though, and he immediately put the pedal to the metal and completed the first lap after the restart with a lead of three quarters of a second.
Shepherd and those behind fought back immediately however, and Evans' lead was cut to under half a second next time around. But that was as far as the challengers got and Evans counted down the laps to the flag to take a win in a classic Best Bars Toyota 86 three-way scrap.
“It was a fairly defensive race,” he said. “I managed to get him off the start. I don’t need much, maybe a tenth in terms of car speed and I would have been okay. Rowan was driving really well, and Ryan was right behind him.
"They had a little bit more car speed. But it’s good racing and I really enjoyed it. The next couple of rounds are going to be really interesting. We’ve been trying all today to find the speed and trying new things. Every track from now on is a different one, so it’s a matter of rolling out really quick and being on the pace at the start of every round."
Gilchrist and Giltrap ended the race in fourth and fifth, while John Penny put in another impressive performance for sixth, having held down fourth for a while in the early stages to eighth ahead of Christina Orr-West and Justin Allen who completed the top ten.
Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship - Round 2 – Race 3
- Simon Evans
- Rowan Shepherd
- Ryan Wood
- Brock Gilchrist
- Marco Giltrap
- John Penny
- Ronan Murphy
- Alexandra Whitley
- Christina Orr-West
- Justin Allen
- Todd Foster
- Tayler Bryant
- Tony Austin
- Mark Mallard