EVANS FUTURE IN THE BALANCE COLIN CLARK
VOICE OF RALLY “Chequebook calendar can be a good thing”
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.”