Elfyn Evans equalled his career-best fourth in Mexico while the M-Sport Ford Ecoboost team turned in a phenomenal performance getting the ‘TiTänak’ to the end of the rally after it spent almost 10 hours submerged at the bottom of a reservoir.
The team christened ‘TiTänak’ with a sticker in this morning's opening service, inspiring the crew to appear on the podium wearing goggles and a snorkel. Once the car returns to M-Sport, the bonnet will be signed by all who aided this astounding repair and displayed in pride of place at M-Sport HQ.
In the sister M-Sport Fiesta RS WRC, Evans and co-driver Daniel Barritt did exactly what they came here to do, and were rewarded with equalling their best ever result in the FIA World Rally Championship.
Thanks to their impressive result, Evans and Barritt have now climbed into fifth place in the drivers' standings with Elfyn commenting: "Overall I am extremely happy with my rally and to come away with a strong fourth place – equalling my best ever result – was a big positive. The main objective was to have a solid, mistake-free run and I think we have done that. Other than hitting a few tyres on the super special we didn't have a single mistake which is something of an achievement here! Of course it was a bit frustrating at times – not being able to push to the maximum when there was a lot more to give – but today especially there was much more to lose than there was to gain.”
"Finally I need to say how impressed I was with the team getting ‘TiTänak’ to the end of the rally. I have to be honest, I was one of the people thinking 'I'm not so sure that car will run again', but to be fair to them they did an absolutely incredible job. I have a massive amount of respect for each and every one of those boys. They really are the best in the world and they've proven that this weekend."
Ott Tänak added his own thanks: "The team have done a fantastic job, it is something unreal what they have done. I am so proud of my team and it is such a privilege to work alongside each and every one of them. It's a real boost for a driver to know that you have people like that behind you all of the time one hundred percent. I am still amazed at what they managed to do this weekend. It was mega. It was fantastic. It was just incredible. The beers are definitely on me tonight!"
And the final word to Malcolm Wilson: "After all of the emotions on Friday, we have come to the end of the rally with what is an absolutely incredible result for the entire team. Elfyn and Dan secured a great fourth place – equalling their best – and are now in a strong fifth place in the championship.”
"As for the work the boys did to get Ott's car to the end of the rally, was nothing short of phenomenal. After everything Ott and Raigo went through, it was so important to get them back behind the wheel. It's the first step in rebuilding their confidence and, incredibly, they even brought a manufacturer point back for the team!”
"We truly believe that we have the most talented, dedicated and determined technicians in the sport; and they've proved that again this weekend. It's an absolute pleasure to watch them at work. In fact, we didn't change the bonnet after it had been in the water. It's been the same bonnet on the car all weekend and when we get back to the workshop it's going to be signed by each and every one of those technicians and displayed in the M-Sport museum."