Evans and Honda in front after Heat Two of Rally Calder

The Honda Jazz of Eli Evans and Glen Weston finished in the lead again at Rally Calder in the two-wheel drive category, at the end of Heat Two.

Teammates Mark Pedder and Claire Ryan were close to the lead for most of the day, however they suffered from an issue with their transmission.

The weather wreaked havoc all Saturday, with constant rain for most of the afternoon making some stages muddy and treacherous for competitors. It did make for good viewing for rally fans in and around Calder Park Raceway.

Both Honda Jazz led for most of the day, once again switching amongst the top three during the morning and early afternoon. On SS13 however, Monkhouse and Moscatt took the lead in their Nissan Sylvia.On SS19, Pedder and Ryan suffered a transmission issue, forcing them back to service. „We were just coming through a fairly tight second gear corner and heard a big bang.

Initially I thought it was a drive shaft, then we lost a bit of drive and then it locked in third, so we puddled our way through the stage,‰ Pedder said.

If a competitor has a technical issue, they are allowed to rejoin if they can fix it however they receive a time penalty. For the stages they miss, they take the slowest time plus 30 seconds. „The plan is if they can get it sorted we‚ll rejoin. We‚ll drop a fair bit of time but at least have some points from today,‰ Pedder said as his crew were busy at work.

The constant rain forced rally organisers to cancel the remaining stages on dirt and run the last two tarmac stages around the Thunderdome. „We had a challenging afternoon but the boys from J.A.S and Evans Motorsport fixed the Honda and we went out on the last two stages. We just wanted to get through them and have a big attack tomorrow,‰ said Pedder.Evans and Weston capped off a fantastic two days, despite the weather and finished in front again. „

It was a pretty difficult day really. They had to cancel the last few gravel stages because it was like driving in a swamp.

„Our strategy was to keep the Jazz on the road. It sounds easy but it really wasn‚t. Every time you got on a stage it changed. Your braking markers were different every time and I just wanted to make sure I was pushing the brake pedal early to see what kind of grip we had so I could slow the car down and get through and on to the next corner without going wide or cutting in too much.

Evans praised the Honda and his competitors. „The Honda hasn‚t missed a beat. It‚s pretty good for its maiden trip out. „

We had a fair bit of pressure from Jack Monkhouse today for outright, it was only on the last two stages that we managed to get ahead of him to take the full points. It was good to have a bit of rivalry in the two-wheel drive category. Well done to Jack and Dale and I look forward to racing them again tomorrow. I‚m sure Mark will be chasing Jack as well, now that he‚s back on track, Evans said.

Heat Three commences at around 9 am tomorrow, with the top three in both the two-wheel and four-wheel drive categories in a shoot-out session for bonus championship point.