M-sport boss hails Evans’ fight­back WRC2 vic­tory in new R5

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - By David Evans Pho­tos: mck­lein-im­age­database.com

Elfyn Evans’ fight back to world ral­ly­ing’s elite has be­gun with what team prin­ci­pal Mal­colm Wil­son de­scribed as his best drive ever in Monte Carlo last week.

The Welsh­man dom­i­nated WRC2 on his re­turn to the se­ries, win­ning the cat­e­gory by more than two min­utes, de­spite los­ing more than four min­utes with punc­tures on his Ford Fi­esta R5.

Wil­son said: “I’ve told Elfyn that this one was the best rally he’s ever driven. He said he wasn’t so sure, but, for me, it’s the con­sis­tency he’s shown. In Cor­sica last year, we saw two fan­tas­tic stages and then he’d drop down a lit­tle bit; there’s been none of that here, he’s just stayed ab­so­lutely on it and an­ni­hi­lated ev­ery­body when he’s had to. I re­ally hope this is the start of the fight back from Elfyn and I think it is. He’s been ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic.”

Evans, who was dropped from the M-sport World Rally Team at the end of last sea­son, was typ­i­cally re­served in judg­ing his own per­for­mance. He said: “This event has been re­ally, re­ally pos­i­tive. Craig [Parry co-driver] and I have worked to­gether for the first time and by Fri­day, that was start­ing to feel se­cond na­ture, which is so im­por­tant for the re­la­tion­ship in the car. Craig and I are both happy with the progress we’ve made and we’ve cer­tainly done the job Mal­colm wanted – it’s good from that per­spec­tive.”

Evans’ next chal­lenge comes next month when he faces the Skoda fac­tory squad – in­clud­ing lo­cal hero Pon­tus Tide­mand – on Rally Swe­den.

“Swe­den’s not go­ing to be easy,” added Wil­son, “but Elfyn’s got good ex­pe­ri­ence of that rally and let’s see. It’s go­ing to be very in­ter­est­ing.”

New Fi­esta upgrade helped Evans to win Evans dom­i­nated in WRC2

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