M-Sport World Rally Team man Elfyn Evans is planning to take it one stage at a time on Rally Sweden this week, his first outing on the event.
Evans has never contested a snow rally with studded tyres and admitted in his first exclusive column
after Rallye Monte Carlo that the second round in the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship will be a 'huge challenge'.
Despite that though, he is not fazed by the prospect and partnered by co-driver, Daniel Barritt, will be out to gain as much knowledge and experience of the unfamiliar surface as possible, his goal to make it through all 24 stages unscathed in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC.
“This will be my first time driving a proper snow rally with full studded tyres, but I'm feeling good about the challenges ahead. We had a really good test [last week] which has helped a lot with the confidence, but obviously the rally itself will be a completely different experience,” said the Welshman, who sent out 'a message' with a 'richly deserved' sixth on the Monte [see separate story - HERE
“Even the recce will be new to us, however – discovering how to best prepare the notes for these kinds of conditions,” he added. “I think that the type of snow we encounter will be key. At the moment, it looks like it's going to be fairly mild in Värmland so that could make it quite tricky and we will need to ensure that we take care to look after the studded tyres."
“We just need to take everything as it comes, one stage at a time, and gain as much experience as possible,” he underlined.
Evans meanwhile said that he will definitely be picking the brains of team-mate, Mikko Hirvonen
- who has ten Rally Sweden's under his belt.
“Of course Mikko and Jarmo [Lehtinen – his co-driver] are well versed when it comes to this event. They have a lot of experience on snow and have won the rally twice already so we'll be looking to harness their experience as much as we can. They've already been really helpful,” Evans continued. “After Monte and during last week's test we exchanged a lot of questions.
"Their advice really will be invaluable to us, and I'm sure they'll continue to share their knowledge throughout the event.”