VOICE OF RALLY “Cheque­book cal­en­dar can be a good thing”

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - WRC sup­port classes, p22 Pho­tos: mck­lein-im­age­database.com, Jakob Ebrey

El­fyn Evans’ hopes of con­test­ing his home round of the World Rally Cham­pi­onship de­pend on M-sport’s fleet of Ford Fi­esta RS WRCS mak­ing it through Rally of Spain on October 13-16.

As part of his prize for win­ning this year’s Bri­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship, Evans was awarded a free en­try for the Dayin­sure Wales Rally GB, but the 27-year-old says he re­mains far from the start of the Dee­side event.

He told MN: “We have se­cured an en­try for Rally GB be­cause there is a small chance, if things work out, we could start. It’s a small chance, but if we didn’t have an en­try in then we wouldn’t be go­ing full stop. The en­try was there and it was free, so we put it in on the chance that we can sort some­thing out in the next cou­ple of weeks.”

M-sport team prin­ci­pal Mal­colm Wil­son added: “The big­gest thing we’re up against here is car avail­abil­ity. We need to wait un­til af­ter Spain. We’re re­ally, re­ally strug­gling for cars. I’m sure El­fyn wants to be in a World [Rally] Car in Wales, but the prac­ti­cal­i­ties are that it might not be pos­si­ble.”

There had been spec­u­la­tion that M-sport could al­ter its World Rally Team driver line-up on one or more of the fi­nal three rounds of the se­ries. Reg­u­la­tions state Mads Ost­berg – the team’s num­ber one nom­i­nated driver – had to start at least 10 rounds of the cham­pi­onship, which meant he could have been dropped in Spain, Wales or Aus­tralia. Wil­son con­firmed the Nor­we­gian re­mains in the car for those ral­lies.

Evans re­mains hope­ful of find­ing a re­turn to a front­line seat next sea­son and his main op­por­tu­nity looks to be with M-sport – ei­ther at M-sport WRT or DMACK WRT.

“I want to be back in a World Rally Car,” he said. “I feel I’ve shown the speed all year in the R5 car, but for me it’s vi­tal to be back. Ob­vi­ously it’s im­por­tant for me to be out on Rally GB if I have a deal for next sea­son, if there’s no deal for next sea­son then it be­comes less im­por­tant.”

Asked what the time­frame was for next sea­son, he said: “There is a clos­ing date com­ing – it’s the clos­ing date for the Monte Carlo Rally en­tries, but re­al­is­ti­cally I don’t see it drag­ging on for that long.”

Parry/evans won BRC

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