Elfyn Evans has reiterated his disappointment at not getting a renewed shot to compete in the World Rally Championship after losing his drive with the M-Sport team in the premier class.
Evans spent two seasons driving the M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC, but despite reaching the podium twice in 2015, he was dropped for 2016 as the Malcolm Wilson-helmed squad opted to sign Mads Ostberg and newcomer Eric Camilli to form an all new line-up.
Despite this, the Welshman will remain in the M-Sport fold for 2016 driving a Ford Fiesta R5 in the WRC2 class, but while he says he is pleased to be continuing with the team, he concedes demotion is a frustrating development for his career.
“Obviously, it's not a change I would have liked,” he said. “I'd like to be in a World Rally Car still but this is the situation and it's up to me to make the most of it and to make sure I'm back in a World Rally Car as soon as possible.”
Reflecting on the reasons for falling out of favour with the WRC squad, Evans admits 'consistency and technique' played their part, but still felt he proved he could be competitive at the highest level.
“I don't think there were any problems with motivation or the work ethic, it's just that it didn't work out for one reason or another. It has made me really focus and look at areas where it didn't work out. I think we all know that on my day I could be very, very fast in the top class. There were strengths, but some weaknesses as well
“There was a little bit of inconsistency and a little bit of technique and maybe some stuff out of the car, how I was perceived was not necessarily how I feel,” he continued when asked what he felt the perceived 'weaknesses' were. “I'm going to let the world know I am enjoying it! This is a good opportunity to put them to bed and be on the button when I come back [to the World Rally Car].”
While Ostberg, who rejoins the team from Citroen, is a regular podium finisher in WRC, Camilli is making his debut in the premier class, stepping up from WRC2.