Elfyn Evans has confirmed it was his own fault he went out of Rally de Portugal on Friday in the first-run through Almodovar.
Evans had been running tenth, until he slid wide in SS4 and rolled his Ford Fiesta RS WRC car down a steep embankment. The Welshman will now re-start this morning under Rally 2, albeit down in 63rd position.
“It was in a very fast section of SS4. Basically we just misjudged our braking into a corner. We were carrying too much speed and ran wide on the outside,” Evans explained.
“This stage was actually one of the better in terms of conditions during the recce. It was just very compact and a little damp under the trees into the corner. That, combined with the late braking on my part and my assuming that there was perhaps a little more grip than reality was the reason for the mistake.”
“Of course it's disappointing,” added the Crash.net
columnist, “because I was really pleased with the progress we were making up until that point. This is still a development year for us though, so we'll come back on Saturday and try to pick up where we left off.
“There are a lot of really tricky stages on the cards so it's likely that we'll use the first pass to find our way, but we'll still be aiming to reduce that gap to the leaders.”
M-Sport boss, Malcolm Wilson noted: “Elfyn put in a good performance before the mistake. He admitted that he needed to be neater in places, and he seemed to be doing that.
“It was a real shame that he was caught out by what have been some very difficult stages today,” Wilson concluded.