Elfyn Evans is looking to mount another world title challenge in 2021. Pic: Getty Images.

Elfyn Evans Says He Did Not Want To Risk It All In Monte Carlo As He Settles For Second

By Gareth James

Elfyn Evans finished second on the season-opening WRC Monte Carlo Rally after opting not to risk everything on trying to overhaul Toyota team-mate Sebastien Ogier.

The Dolgellau flier finished 32.6 seconds behind the Frenchman who claimed a record eighth victory on arguably the world’s most famous rally.

Evans finished third in the final power stage which Ogier also won to leave him nine points behind the reigning champ in the early standings.

“It’s been good but I just never felt 100 per cent as it should have been, perhaps a little bit under the point where you would say is a level of risk you’d want to take,” said the 32-year-old.

“Séb was better this weekend. I would’ve preferred to be a little bit more competitive against him, I can see the time but it just didn’t fit quite in my comfort zone this weekend.”

But second should be considered a good start to the season for Evans especially on an event where Ogier’s knowledge of his local roads is huge.

Not only was it Ogier’s 50th win of his WRC career – having dominated after taking the overall lead from Eans on Saturday morning – he also became the first man to win the Monte on three different decades.

Ogier had looked set to retire at the end of last season but has opted to carry on and looks set for another titanic title tussle with his Toyota team-mate having snatched the title from Evans on the final round of the 2020 campaign.

“The car has been amazing I really enjoyed the weekend it’s been such a pleasure,” Ogier said.

“I almost have tears in my eyes now, it was a great decision to do another year.”

Belgium’s Thierry Neuville’s took third for Hyundai to deny Toyota a clean sweep of the podium celebrations in Monte Carlo, though he was more than one minute 13 secs behind the winner.

The next round is the Arctic Rally Finland on 26-28 February, which has replaced Rally Sweden – which Evans won last year – due to COVID-19.

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