DESPITE the final two stages being deleted because of wet weather, Eli Evans has emerged from the rain and mist in his Subaru Impreza STI to be declared provisional winner of the Daikin-Allied Air Conditioning Coffs Coast Rally.
Early on Saturday, Evans was 33 seconds behind brother Simon Evans, the reigning ARC champion, but came out of nowhere to finish second to his brother in the final stage of the day.
It was all the incentive the 'other' Evans brother needed and on Sunday he cruised to the top of heat one positions to be in the box seat when rain ended play for the afternoon.
But the real sensation of the weekend was the superb driving of Nathan Quinn and rally partner Ben Atkinson who finished provisionally in second berth.
On points the local duo was level with Michael Bowden but a 2.9-second advantage gave them the nod.
Rally director Martin Quinn was doing his best to keep emotions under control about his son's phenomenal effort against motor sport teams with huge budgets.
“Not bad for a young fella in a 10-year-old car,” he grinned. “Still, the biggest sign we're on a winner is the huge turn-out in the spectator areas, sometimes up to ten deep, much bigger than the last time we held the event.”
Neal Bates drove a subdued first stage on Saturday, enabling him to win his fourth ARC Rally Championship, before taking the chains off and finishing in second position behind Eli Evans in heat two.