EVANS HANDED DMACK LIFE­LINE

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Elfyn Evans’ re­turn to the World Rally Cham­pi­onship’s top flight is ex­pected to be con­firmed later this month, with the Welsh­man driv­ing a Dmack-backed Ford Fi­esta RS WRC.

Both DMACK and M-sport are work­ing to fi­nalise fund­ing for the deal, which is ex­pected to put Evans and his for­mer co-driver Dan Bar­ritt back to­gether again.

The pair com­pleted the recce for last week’s Wales Rally GB to­gether.

Evans was un­avail­able for com­ment when MN con­tacted him, but Wil­son ad­mit­ted the plan was com­ing to­gether to put him back in a fac­tory-spec WR Car for the first time since the end of last sea­son.

“That’s what we’re work­ing on,” Wil­son said. “The tar­get is for Elfyn to do the full cham­pi­onship, but we’ve still got some way to go yet.”

Evans won this year’s Bri­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship with the DMACK squad and boss of the Cum­brian-based tyre firm Dick Cor­mack has made clear his hopes of keep­ing the 27-year-old for WRC next sea­son.

Evans will re­place Ott Tanak in the DMACK team, with the Estonian ap­par­ently turn­ing down an of­fer from Hyundai to re­turn to the M-sport World Rally Team, where he drove last sea­son. The un­der­stand­ing is that Evans will be al­lowed to score points for the M-sport team – which will have to en­ter him. His car will then run un­der a DMACK um­brella within M-sport.

Tanak still wouldn’t be drawn on his fu­ture, but he and Eric Camilli will also be an­nounced later this month.

One of the stum­bling blocks to a po­ten­tial DMACK deal for Evans was re­port­edly a reg­u­la­tion stip­u­lat­ing each man­u­fac­turer team could only nom­i­nate one tyre firm to work with. Sources in the FIA have con­firmed this was the in­ten­tion, but sport­ing rules for 2017 have yet to be fi­nalised.

Evans’ deal would con­clude much of the driver mar­ket move­ment for next sea­son. Toy­ota is ex­pected to an­nounce Es­apekka Lappi and Teemu Suni­nen next month. M-sport driver Mads Ost­berg looks set to re­turn to his Adapta Team, with the Nor­we­gian set to run a ’17 Ford Fi­esta RS WRC as soon as one is avail­able – hope­fully in time for round two in Swe­den.

Pho­tos: Gary Jones, mck­lein-im­age­database.com

Evans could go for DMACK seat Evans/bar­ritt: recce

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