It seems like funding could be the only thing standing in the way of three-time Australian Rally champions Simon and Sue Evans joining the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) after a successful test session with Peugeot in France.
After receiving an invitation at late notice, Evan had just one week to prepare for the trial which was held in near-freezing conditions on a tarmac surface that he had limited experience on and in a Super 2000 car unlike anything he had driven for 10 months.
But he met the challenges over the six kilometre course, setting fast times, continuously improving them and impressing the new Peugeot team along the way.
Evans was full of praise for the team and the 207 S2000 rally car after the one-day trial.
“It was such a great experience. The team was fantastic, they looked after us incredibly well.
“The car was by far the best rally car I have ever driven. It gave me so much confidence to keep pushing harder and harder, and I felt really comfortable in it.
“I did exactly what I wanted to do. I drove at nine tenths and didn’t make any mistakes, but above all it seemed I was pretty quick,” he said.
Evans said the feedback he got from the team was invaluable and said he was encouraged by their eagerness to secure him for next year.
“They were quite keen to run me in the championship in 2010 – it all just made me more enthusiastic about the prospect of locking something in.
“Which is where the difficult part starts. We’re going to have to work very hard to come up with the funding to put a deal together for next year.
“After getting a taste of it, I want even more now. I’m more pumped up than ever to get to the IRC.”
The IRC is the rival championship to the World Rally Championship and comprised eight different manufacturers and 11 rounds across Europe, South America, and Africa in 2009.