ELFYN EVANS WILL TAKE AWAY THE POSITIVES FROM CORSICA LINEA – TOUR DE CORSE DESPITE THE LAST-STAGE HEARTBREAK THAT ROBBED HIM OF A SECOND WRC CAREER VICTORY.
At the wheel of a Ford Fiesta, Evans was the fastest driver on the Corsican asphalt and looked set to claim the win after he regained the lead on Sunday morning from Thierry Neuville with an unbeatable time through the opening test.
But his victory charge came to an abrupt end in the final 19.34km Wolf Power Stage when a puncture cost him 1m29sec, dropping him to third.
Despite being denied his first win since Wales Rally GB in 2017, Evans reflected on a convincing start to the season that has included two podiums and left him fourth in the drivers’ standings.
“Perhaps it’s not the result we wanted, but the pace is there and I think we can all take confidence from that moving forward,” he said.
“We’ve had a pretty strong start to the season so far and I’ve been really happy with the Fiesta on all four of the opening rounds. The guys back at M-Sport are working exceptionally hard and making improvements all the time. I see no reason why we can’t continue this form into the coming events.”
Evans completed the stage with no rubber at all on the front-right wheel of his Fiesta, and said he wasn’t sure he would make it to the finish.
M-Sport Ford team principal Richard Millener admitted the final stage drama was difficult to watch.
“Elfyn and Scott [Martin] were the fastest crew out there this weekend and have shown everyone what they and the Fiesta are capable of. That first stage on Sunday morning was sensational and I don’t think anyone can say that they didn’t deserve this victory,” he said.
“To lose it on the last stage was a bitter blow for the whole team, but we need to look to the positives – and there were a lot of those this weekend.”