BRENTWOOD, England – Up and coming rally ace Elfyn Evans secured a career-best fourth place at Rally Mexico yesterday.
Following an inspired drive on his first venture to the Mexican event, Evans was one of the success stories of the weekend. Having been in the fight for the podium positions, the youngster showed real maturity with flashes of speed on what is only his fourth event behind the wheel of the Ford Fiesta RS WRC.
“I certainly didn’t come here expecting to finish fourth,” said Evans, who is co-driven by Daniel Barritt. “Simply to finish would have been an achievement given how little experience we have on these kinds of stages and how many of the top drivers were caught out!
“We put in some strong performances on some individual stages and identified a few areas for improvement as the weekend went on. It’s all part of the learning curve and we’re really looking forward to Portugal.”
Team-mate Mikko Hirvonen and co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen came back strongly to finish eighth following a problem with the IDU (driver injector unit) through on the opening leg.
“It was a real shame that we had the problem on Friday, but that is part of the game sometimes,” said Hirvonen. “We would certainly have been fighting for the podium – maybe even the second place as well – but there are still a lot of positives to take from this event.
“I believe we can definitely fight as the season goes on. We were able to try a few things with the car over the last couple of days, and I am feeling really happy with what we have learnt. We have a few ideas on how we can make further improvements and with more testing coming up I think we can develop even more and be a real threat on all of the rallies.”
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson commented: “It has been a very encouraging weekend for us. Elfyn [Evans] is progressing really well and his fourth place – his best ever finish in the WRC – is thoroughly well deserved. He wasn’t drawn into any unnecessary battles and did exactly what was asked of him – all in all a very mature drive from a driver who has the potential to do extremely well in the future.
“It was also good to see Mikko [Hirvonen] get his spark back. The problem on Friday was a real disappointment for the team, but the way he fought back proves that he has lost none of his ambition or his determination to win. He goes to Portugal with his confidence high and the potential to be a real contender for the top positions.”
1) S.Ogier VW Polo R WRC
2) J-M Latvala VW Polo R WRC
3) T.Neuville Hyundai i20 WRC
4) E.Evans Ford Fiesta WRC
5) M.Prokop Ford Fiesta WRC
6) B.Guerra Ford Fiesta WRC
7) C.Atkinson Hyundai i20 WRC
8) M.Hirvonen Ford Fiesta WRC
9) M.Ostberg Citroen DS3 WRC
10) Y.Protasov Ford Fiesta R5