EVANS CONFIDENT OF ASPHALT PACE FOR ULSTER
Welshman bullish as BRC title battle reaches fever pitch
Elfyn Evans believes work on the DMACK asphalt tyres and set-up of his Ford Fiesta R5 puts him in good stead to challenge for the Ulster Rally win on August 18/19.
Evans retired from the Circuit of Ireland on SS3 with a broken alternator belt, but was fastest on all but two of the event’s stages including the Glens test he stopped on.
“The Circuit was a fantastic rally,” explained Evans. “I really enjoyed it and now we’ve learned a lot with the tyres, and also the car, we’ve got a good set-up going into the Ulster. It will be new to me, I don’t think I’ve been on those stages. It’ll be interesting.”
The Welshman holds a 45-point gap over third-placed Fredrik Ahlin with a dropped score taken into account. Tom Cave is currently second, 39 points behind, but he has a score of eight points to discount.
After the Ulster, the series closes on the Isle of Man from September 15-17 where all drivers score double points. Despite a significant championship lead, Evans believes a strong finish on the Ulster will give him crucial breathing space ahead of the Manx finale where the winning driver will land 50 points.
“A good result on the Ulster relieves a bit of pressure off the Isle of Man,” added Evans. “It’s a long rally, if Tom or Fredrik can win that and Ulster doesn’t go well for us we’ll be under a lot of pressure. We really need to finish Ulster, however I’d still like to win it and we’re certainly aiming to.”
Evans believes the BRC’S points system should be adjusted for next year as many drivers have been ruled out of championship contention due to not winning on their joker rounds.
“For me at the minute there’s too much of a gap between first or second,” explained Evans. “Awarding 15 [for second] to 25 [for a win] is a big gap especially when you look at what happened on the Pirelli where we had the pace to win the rally but had a puncture and finished third. It’s ruined some people’s championships, if you happen to non-score on your joker it’s bad for your season.”
BRC championship manager Iain Campbell confirmed the points system is under review for 2017.
“The championship scoring system this year has been designed to reward winning not consistency,” said Campbell. “The ‘joker’ cards have provided another talking point on events but we are looking at options of reviewing the value of a ‘joker’ win for 2017. It is one of the many things in the melting pot for next year.”
Evans won on the Nicky Grist Stages