The Evans Motorsport team finally got to meet their new J.A.S built, Mugen tuned Honda Jazz last week in Milan, Italy.
After two years rallying a Honda Civic Type R, Evans and Weston will be joined by Mark Pedder and Claire Ryan in the G2 Jazz that were purpose-built by J.A.S over the last few months. Evans, Weston and Pedder spent three full days testing the cars on specially selected roads, to ensure the Jazz are ready for their assault on the 2012 Bosch Australian Rally Championship.
Evans said of his new wheels; “The Honda Jazz exceeded my expectations as to what a front-wheel drive rally car can do. It really inspires you with confidence as a driver, so I think that I will be able to push much harder this year.”
Former British Rally Champion Guy Wilks, who drove for Honda in its debut to rallying in 2009, helped the boys set up the cars. Having Wilks join the team was a huge bonus, as he has years of experience with front-wheel drive rally cars from his days in the Junior World Rally Championship. Evans and Pedder joined Wilks behind the wheel and certainly enjoyed watching him work his magic.
New Evans Motorsport team-mate Mark Pedder was excited to be part of the test. “It was great to get some time in the seat of the Honda before the season opener at Rally Calder in a little over a month. Eli and Guy were able to fast track my transition from a turbo four-wheel drive into a front-wheel drive. The engineering in the Honda is beautiful to look at and a ball to drive.”
The team arrived at the J.A.S workshop on Monday last week and quickly got to work setting up the differential. On Tuesday, the team went to a nearby quarry for shakedown, braving minus seven degree temperatures. On Wednesday, they headed south to Tuscany to meet Wilks. On their final day, they tested the tyres.
The cars travelled over 400 kilometres of road, equivalent to two full rounds of the Bosch ARC, with no failures.