WRC Wales Rally GB: Strong fifth for Evans

Crash.net columnist Elfyn Evans comes away with a “strong” fifth place on Wales Rally GB in his M-Sport-run Fiesta RS WRC car
M-Sport's Elfyn Evans took a “strong” fifth on Wales Rally GB last weekend, the 2014 WRC season finale.

Evans was taking in the event for the first time in a World Rally car, but despite that ran in the top-seven throughout and gradually upped his pace, going second quickest in SS20, as well as posting a trio of fourth quickest times on the final day.

“I think we would have taken fifth place at the start of the event for sure,” the Welshman said at the finish. “We knew before the rally started that even bettering our result from last year [eighth in the Fiesta R5] would have been a good achievement given the depth of the entry. To come away in fifth is strong and I think we've managed to show some good speed along the way.

“There were areas where we could have been better, but all in all it's been a good weekend and a good way to finish off the year. I can't wait to start next season now. We've got a lot more experience and I'm looking forward to what I hope will be another successful season at this level.”

Asked to assess his season – his first at the top level in a top-spec WRC car – he replied: “This year has been a solid start to my WRC career – a bit up-and-down, but we have an excellent bank of experience to build upon in the future. Next year will be the most important one for me to really prove that we can compete at the highest level.”

“The team has been great all year too,” he added. “I've got on really well with the guys and I'm really looking forward to continuing with them next year.

“I owe a massive thanks to M-Sport and Malcolm Wilson in particular for giving me this opportunity and trusting me in the car, and now we are in a really good position to make progress going forward.”

Evans also paid tribute to out-going team-mate Mikko Hirvonen, who announced his retirement from the sport at the start of the month.

“I want to wish Mikko all the best. I really couldn't have wished for a better team mate this year,” Evans continued. “He and Jarmo [Lehtinen, Mikko's co-driver] have been so willing to share their experience over the year and if I can achieve anything like his CV at the end of my career then I would be very proud indeed.

“It was great to see him end such an influential career with such a positive result [too – by taking second place] and I know that the whole team will really miss him and Jarmo in 2015.”

Meanwhile, M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson reckoned Evans' performance in Wales was his best of the year on gravel.

“Elfyn has had a really good weekend. He did exactly what was asked of him and came away with a strong fifth place. He didn't let the pressure of being at home get to him at all and showed some really encouraging speed along the way,” Wilson stated. “I think it is fair to say that this has been one of his best performances on gravel all season and we are all really looking forward to seeing what he can do with a year of experience under his belt next year.”
by Rob Wilkins

Related Pictures

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Elfyn Evans, Daniel Barrit (Ford Fiesta WRC, #6 M-Sport World Rally Team)
Elfyn Evans, Daniel Barrit (Ford Fiesta WRC, #6 M-Sport World Rally Team)
Elfyn Evans, Daniel Barrit (Ford Fiesta WRC, #6 M-Sport World Rally Team)
Elfyn Evans, Daniel Barrit (Ford Fiesta WRC, #6 M-Sport World Rally Team)
Elfyn Evans, Daniel Barrit (Ford Fiesta WRC, #6 M-Sport World Rally Team)
Elfyn Evans, Daniel Barrit (Ford Fiesta WRC, #6 M-Sport World Rally Team)

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November 18, 2014 1:46 PM

I totally agree with Malcolm I cant wait to see what happens for next year with M-Sport I really hope they can get a Strong Sponsor on board and get some good results throughout the season Minor detail but I would imagine that both drivers will be equal status


November 20, 2014 7:51 AM
Last Edited 706 days ago

Here's my POV on the whole WRC thing: 1. Elfyn IS one, if not the most promising driver in many years. His attitude is so positive and he is really motivated that the only outcome is to have a Welsh driver on the podium pretty fast. 2. Malcolm has a very special "eye" for promising kids. He's never been wrong... I guess the list is long. 3. WRC is and will be boring... it will even disappear if the FiA keeps on going with its really shocking rules 4. People don't crowd anymore into the season because there's no real motivation... look, there's been 10 comments on if Kubica's will be driving again, and 1 on Elfyn!!!!!! We are a big part of the problem. If we don't push (and I mean, push) manufacturers, sponsors, TV, kids, organisers and everything we have at hand, the sport's demise is already written in blood. Hell, and I'm a very well known optimistic.

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