EVANS HANDED DMACK LIFELINE
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.
Evans could go for DMACK seat Evans/barritt: recce