EVANS MAKES HISTORY WITH SILVER FERN WIN
Welsh driver conquers New Zealand event
Welshmen Meirion Evans and Iestyn Williams won the week-long Silver Fern Historic Rally in New Zealand on their first attempt at the event.
The Ford Escort Mk2 crew were 45s ahead when the survivors arrived at the finish in Christchurch on Sunday afternoon after a perfectly judged performance.
“The roads here are just amazing,” said Evans, after the biggest win of his career in his self-prepared car. “On the last day we had just got to concentrate and bring it home for Wales.”
To cap a strong event for UK crews, Phil Squires and Nigel Hutchinson (Escort Mk2) finished fourth in the historic section. “The speeds are incredible,” said Squires after his second consecutive top 10 finish. Other British crews were in contention for the lead until hitting problems. Simon Tysoe and Paul Morris led in the early stages, but lost a lot of time with a roll on day two. They recovered to finish 10th, but Matthew Robinson and Sam Collis eventually retired the Fiat 131 with electrical dramas after showing strong pace.
It was not all plain sailing for Evans as an off on stage four could have cost them victory. They lost three minutes after putting the car on its side. “Just a little lapse of concentration,” said Evans of the incident.
“It’s been an adventure and I can’t thank everyone enough, particularly the guys who came with me to service. It’s been such a team effort,” said Evans at the finish in Christchurch.