Elfyn Evans Rally

UMEA, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 17: Elfyn Evans of Great Britain and Scott Martin of Great Britain are competing with their Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid during Day Three of the FIA World Rally Championship Sweden on February 17, 2024 in Umea, Sweden. (Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images)

Elfyn Evans Moves To Second Place But Insists: It Could Have Been Better

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By Gareth James

Elfyn Evans ended a challenging Rally Sweden on a high by scoring a strong haul of points towards the World Rally Championship after setting the pace on the final day and claiming second overall.

The Welsh driver moved into second in the standings for Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team and stands just three points behind Thierry Neuville who was fourth in Sweden.

“It’s been a very up-and-down weekend,” said Evans.

“It wasn’t looking so good on Friday when we had a difficult job with our road position. But we managed to get through it which I think was important, and gave us the opportunity to climb back up the leaderboard.

“When conditions were suiting us, our pace was quite okay and today we managed get some good points in the end.

“I think we probably should have won the Power Stage, but made a couple of mistakes at the end.

“Still, from where we were earlier in the weekend and to come out of it with a good haul of points, I think we can b
e reasonably happy.”

It was a strong recovery for Evans after he was forced to run first on the road and plough through deep snow on Friday afternoon.

Having been just 1.9 seconds from the eventual winner during mid-day service, the extreme conditions left him 1m50s from the lead at the end of the day.

Having moved up from fifth to third on Saturday morning, Evans then stormed into second place on Sunday’s opening stage.

He was fastest in the subsequent second pass of that stage, and finished a close second in the rally-ending Power Stage.

That was enough to top the ‘Super Sunday’ classification, giving he and co-driver Scott Martin a total of 24 points from the weekend – more than any other crew.

Both Kalle Rovanperä and Takamoto Katsuta fought for the rally lead before they fell victim to the snowbanks that line the stages.

Rovanperä held the early lead until contact with a snow bank in SS4 on Friday caused radiator damage. He restarted on Saturday and targeted manufacturers’ points on Sunday, where he was second-quickest to Evans across the day and fastest by just 0.039s in the Power Stage.

The Toyota team therefore took the maximum 22 points available on Sunday and remains jointly in the lead of the manufacturer’s’ championship after two rounds.

PROVISIONAL FINAL CLASSIFICATION, RALLY SWEDEN

1 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Hyundai i20 N Rally1 HYBRID) 2h33m04.9s
2 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID) +29.6s
3 Adrien Fourmaux/Alexandre Coria (Ford Puma Rally1 HYBRID) +47.9s
4 Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 N Rally1 HYBRID) +1m46.3s
5 Oliver Solberg/Elliott Edmondson (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) +5m04.2s
6 Sami Pajari/Enni Mälkönen (Toyota GR Yaris Rally2) +6m23.9s
7 Georg Linnamäe/James Morgan (Toyota GR Yaris Rally2) +6m26.4.s
8 Roope Korhonen/Anssi Viinikka (Toyota GR Yaris Rally2) +6m48.1s
9 Mikko Heikkilä/Kristian Temonen (Toyota GR Yaris Rally2) +7m25.7s
10 Lorenzo Bertelli/Simone Scattolin (Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID) +7m37.7s
39 Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID) +48m31.9s
45 Takamoto Katsuta/Aaron Johnston (Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID) +59m04.5s
(Results as of 15:00 on Sunday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com)

2024 FIA World Rally Championship for drivers after round 2:

1 Thierry Neuville 48 points
2 Elfyn Evans 45
3 Adrien Fourmaux 29
4 Sébastien Ogier 24
5 Ott Tänak 21
6 Esapekka Lappi 19
7 Takamoto Katsuta 12
8 Kalle Rovanperä 11
9 Oliver Solberg 8
10 Andreas Mikkelsen 6

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