By Paul Evans
Elfyn Evans got his Dayinsure Wales Rally GB defence off to a flying start by setting the joint second fastest time on today’s Shakedown stage in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC.
It might have only been a short 3.37km run through Clocaenog forest, which doesn’t count towards the outcome of the event itself, but the time – just 0.2 seconds slower than Finland’s Teemu Suninen (Fiesta WRC) – confirms that Evans is one of the favourites for victory this weekend.
The Shakedown stage also proved how slippery the conditions are, as Ott Tänak – who has won the last three World Championship rounds – skidded straight on at a junction and nose-dived into a bank. His Toyota Yaris WRC has been repaired and he’ll be none the worse off when the event gets underway.
The opening stage of this year’s Wales Rally GB takes place later tonight, with the Tir Prince test beginning at 19.00.
Wales Rally GB Shakedown – top 10 fastest times
1. Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) 2mins 01.2secs
=2. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +0.2secs
=2. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +0.2secs
=2. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +0.2secs
5. Craig Breen / Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +0.3secs
6. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +0.6secs
7. Mads Østberg / Torstein Eriksen (Citroen C3 WRC) +0.7secs
8. Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1.0secs
9. Hayden Paddon / Sebastian Marshal (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1.4secs
10. Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1.9secs