‘Fuchs takes win as Evans hits trou­ble’

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Ni­co­las Fuchs cel­e­brated his first win of the WRC2 sea­son in Ar­gentina – ru­in­ing the first part of M-sport and MN’S story.

The script was a sim­ple one. El­fyn Evans flies to South Amer­ica, com­pletes his hat­trick, main­tain­ing his 100 per cent record in WRC2, be­fore his Ford Fi­esta R5 is flown home and handed to Matthew Wil­son to win this week­end’s Pirelli Carlisle Rally.

Un­for­tu­nately, a fuel rail pres­sure sen­sor stopped work­ing on the way to the third stage. Evans and co-driver Craig Parry were left stranded at the side of the road. They’d al­ready suf­fered a front punc­ture on the opener, but noth­ing pre­pared them for the dis­ap­point­ment that fol­lowed.

“It’s a long way to come for that kind of Fri­day morn­ing,” said Evans, rue­fully. With life breathed back into the Fi­esta, he then blitzed the op­po­si­tion with a string of fastest times – when, that is, he wasn’t suf­fer­ing from punc­tures.

With Evans out of the pic­ture, the way was clear for the best of the rest.

In fair­ness to Fuchs, he’d been quicker than any­body through Thurs­day night’s Cor­doba crowd-pleaser. And the Peru­vian pressed on into Satur­day, build­ing a 50-sec­ond lead on the first morn­ing.

As has been the case so many times be­fore for Fuchs, it looked like his chance had slipped through his fin­gers when the pow­er­steer­ing pump failed on his Skoda in the sec­ond So­con­cho test. Such were his ef­forts to keep the car in a straight line, his co-driver Fernando Mus­sano was called on to change gear.

Fel­low Skoda run­ner Ab­du­laziz Al-kuwari stepped up and moved to the front of the field. His old co-driver Kil­lian Duffy was back on the notes in Ar­gentina, with Mar­shall Clarke still re­cov­er­ing from the frac­tured spine he suf­fered when he and Al-kuwari crashed out of the Qatar Rally at the start of the sea­son.

An­other in­ver­sion ru­ined the Mid­dle East star’s trip to Villa Car­los Paz. Caught out by a left-han­der in Villa Bus­tos, the Fabia R5 tum­bled into a field. A punc­tured tyre needed chang­ing be­fore they could get go­ing again and when they did, they only had two-wheel drive.

First be­came a very dis­tant third at the fin­ish.

That handed the ad­van­tage back to Fuchs, who started the fi­nal day with more than three min­utes in hand over Hu­bert Ptaszek’s Peu­geot.

Fourth would come as some con­so­la­tion for Evans, but now for part two of the story. As you read this, the Fi­esta is some­where over the At­lantic. By Fri­day afternoon, it should be in scru­ti­neer­ing in Carlisle. And by Sun­day… see next week’s MN.

Fuchs won for Skoda af­ter Evans hit trou­ble

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