The Jazz have been specifically built for the ARC and underwent official testing in Italy. They arrived in Melbourne this week and are now being prepared for the first round of the Bosch ARC on the 2nd of March.
Eli Evans and Glen Weston have traded in their Honda Civic Type R for a Honda Jazz and will be joined by two new Evans Motorsport team members, Mark Pedder and Claire Ryan.
Pedder carries a long history in rallying, strengthening the team and the chances of a Honda Jazz taking out the 2WD Championship.
Undergoing testing in Milan, Italy where the Mugen-tuned Jazz were built by J.A.S. Motorsport, Evans, Weston and Pedder tried out their new wheels for the first time. They spent three full days testing the cars on specially selected roads, to ensure the Jazz are ready for their assault on the 2012 season. The cars travelled over 400 kilometres of road, equivalent to two full rounds of the Bosch ARC.
After testing the cars in sub-zero temperatures, the team are glad to be back on Australian soil, and driving the cars on local roads.
“The cars have arrived at Evans Motorsport and are sitting in their bays awaiting Rally Calder. Shakedown will be the next test before Calder, then after the first round we are undergoing two more official testing days on the roads around Rally Victoria. With a new machine there is always some doubt and anticipation, so we’re making one hundred percent sure they drive us safely through each round and to victory.”
“After getting back from Italy, we’re very impressed with the cars. They showed a lot of potential. Straight out of the box they were really fast, so it will be interesting to see how they fare against competitors,” Evans said.
Former British Rally Champion Guy Wilks, who drove for Honda in its debut to rallying in 2009, helped the boys set up the cars in Italy. 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.
Honda has increased its involvement in the ARC this year entering two vehicles and driver combinations.
Follow the team on their dedicated Facebook page for behind-the-scenes info, photos and videos, or visit the web site.