Sunday 4 October 2015

Rally - Elfyn delivers

M-Sport World Rally Team's Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt secured a career-best FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) result when they finished an outstanding second overall at this weekend's Tour de Corse Rallye de France.

At the finish Elfyn commented: “I think it's fair to say that it's been one hell of a week for Welsh sport! To see the Welsh rugby team doing so well, and then my result here, it's just a great achievement and I really hope that I did the boys back home proud. Needless to say we're delighted with the result. Coming here for the first time and seeing how tough the conditions were going to be, I never imagined that we'd be leading the rally by such a strong margin.”

"It was a bit of a nice surprise to say the least, and I'm glad that we were able to bring home such a strong result for the team because they really do deserve it. We have done a lot of work since Germany and it's just great to see that it all paid off. A big thanks to the team and also to the gravel crew who did a fantastic job all weekend. And thanks also to everyone who has been sending in their messages of support. I haven't read them all yet, but I will certainly find time to do that before Spain!"

Malcolm Wilson added: "We have witnessed an absolutely stunning drive from Elfyn [Evans] this weekend. Not only has he secured his best result to date, but also his second podium of the year as well as the team's best result of the season. To say that he and the team deserve this result is a real understatement. After the disappointment of Australia, everyone really pulled together and worked extremely hard. It really is fantastic to see all that hard work yielding a result as impressive as this one – which puts us right back in the fight for second place in the manufacturers' championship.”

There was good news too for the other Brit, Kris Meeke and Irish co-driver Paul Nagle with Kris saying: “It was a difficult rally, with one-off conditions. I didn’t feel confident at the start, but the aim was above all to finish the rally without any problems. Even this morning, we weren’t expecting the roads to be so slippery in places. Fourth place is a solid result. I would have liked to be quicker, but the points scored – both by me and by Mads – were very important. At the end of the rally, we have reclaimed second place in the manufacturers’ standings.”

Yves Matton didn’t give much away but said at the finish: “One of our objectives for this season is to finish second in the Manufacturers’ World Championship. Finishing with both DS 3 WRCs in the top six of the Tour de Corse means we are now back in second position in the standings. It is therefore a satisfactory result at the end of what proved to be a rather unusual event. We have two rallies left to consolidate our position. In Spain and in Wales, we have to be just as focussed and committed to achieve our goal.”

So the Brits did well, but even when Ogier has a bad day, the VW team has strength in depth. Still, the pace of the new evolution Fiesta might give them cause for concern. Go get ‘em Elfyn.

Final Provisional Overall Standings:
1. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 2:39:46.7
2. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +43.1
3. Andreas Mikkelsen / Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +46.3
4. Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle (DS 3 WRC) +1:33.4
5. Hayden Paddon / John Keenard (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1:53.6
6. Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson (DS 3 WRC) +1:59.8
7. Dani Sordo / Marc Marti (Hyundai i20 WRC) +2:10.4
8. Bryan Bouffier / Thibault de la Haye (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +2:12.8
9. Stéphane Sarrazin / Jacques-Julien Renucci (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +2:39.3
10. Ott Tanak / Raigo Molder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +3:43.0

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