29 January 2008
RALLY CHAMPION EVANS TAKES ON SPRINTCAR STAR TATNELL
Toyota's two-time Australian rally champion Simon Evans will race sprint car ace Brooke Tatnell and a TRD HiLux in a unique speed comparison during the upcoming Australian Sprintcar Championship at Parramatta City Raceway.
The TRD Speed Comparison will feature Evans in his double championship-winning Group N (P) Corolla, challenge Tatnell's Toyota Genuine Parts-backed, V8-powered sprintcar and a pre-production TRD HiLux driven by V6 HiLux Heroes stunt driver Rick Bates.
Set for Friday, 1 February - the middle night of the three night championship - the speed comparison will pitch three very different cars against each other in a handicap race around Parramatta's 460 metre-long clay oval.
Evans is excited by the prospecting of racing a purpose-built oval racer and is happy to be the underdog for the first time since his record-breaking 2007 rally season (where he became the first driver to win every heat of every round).
"It is going to be a great spectacle for the fans to see the technology of the Corolla rally car versus the brute force of the sprintcar's carburettor V8 engine," Evans said.
"I like being the underdog, so I have no problems with Brooke chasing me down. Besides, I will have the best seat in the house as I chase the TRD HiLux and hear the sprintcar's V8 catching me.
"They always say you can't beat cubic inches - so I am going to see if I can. But if that fails, we can stick Brooke and his car among some trees and see how he goes then."
Tatnell has just secured his sixth World Series title, and although he will be racing for his fourth consecutive Australian title on Saturday, February 2, the sprintcar star can't wait to challenge Evans.
"The Australian title is the pinnacle race of the year - it took 17 years to win my first and I am here to win and to try and become only the second person ever to win four in a row," said the Toyota Genuine Parts-backed Tatnell
"It will be a big ask, but it is the one thing my team, Krikke Motorsport, and I have worked for all year. We are on form and believe we have the best package to win another national title.
"The race against Simon is going to be fun as he is a sprintcar fan. It will be very interesting to see the capabilities of all three cars and I believe this is the first time anything like this has ever happened in sprintcar racing.
"It falls on the night I am not racing, but Simon, Rick and I are all racers and whenever you put on a race suit you want to win.
"It will be a unique event and Toyota's involvement is great for sprintcar racing and for Toyota."
Given the performance difference between the pre-production TRD HiLux and the two purpose-built race cars, Bates will start first, before Evans and eventually Tatnell are released.
The unique race will see Evans and Tatnell chase the TRD HiLux over a number of laps with the aim of all three crossing the finish line on the final lap as close together as possible.
Evans and three-time Australian rally champion Neal Bates will also be performing demonstration runs in the TRD Rally Team's turbo-charged Corolla during the meet.
There will be performances by the Toyota V6 HiLux Heroes stunt driving team on the final two nights of the championship.
This year's Australian Sprintcar Championship has attracted the biggest entry list since the event's first running at the now-defunct Windsor Speedway in Sydney in 1963.
Visit www.parramattacityraceway.com.au for more information on the 2008 Australian Sprintcar Championship.
Simon Evans will take on Tatnell's V8-powered sprintcar in his turbo-charged Group N (P) Corolla rally car.
Brooke Tatnell will take time out of his bid for a fourth consecutive Australian Sprintcar title to take part in a unique handicap race with Simon Evans and a TRD HiLux.