Elfyn Evans Salvages Safari Points  But Sees WRC Title Hopes Hit

Elfyn Evans bagged his fifth career win with stunning victory in Finland.

Elfyn Evans Salvages Safari Points But Sees WRC Title Hopes Hit

By Gareth James

Elfyn Evans picked up four precious points as he recovered to finish 10th on the Safari Rally.

But the Dolgellau-born racer still saw his WRC title hopes take a big hit as Toyota Gazoo Racing team-mate Sebastien Ogier claimed his second win in a row.

Evans – who retired his Yaris after hitting a rock on stage three on Friday before returning under Rally 2 rules – is still second in the standings but 34 points behind the French reigning champ.

“We were looking for points and we gave it a good go in the Power Stage, although it was very difficult to judge where the grip was,” said Evans.

“It’s disappointing to only come away from here with a few points after the error on Friday.

But it was good to drive most of the stages and gain experience of this event for the future, and now we have to look forward and focus on Estonia.

“Credit to the team and to Seb for the victory, and I’m really happy to see Taka and Dan on the podium as well.”

It was always going to be a savage mission for Evans who admitted he made a ‘clumsy’ mistake so early in the event costing him any chance of a podium as the brutal rock-strewn roads took their toll.

Evans took a stage win as he managed to pick up one point for 10th place and another three points for finishing third on the final Power Stage as the iconic rally returned to the calendar for the first time in 19 years.

But Ogier took advantage of Hyundai’s latest nightmare – this time involving long-time leader Thierry Neuville on the final day – to take his third win of the season.

It was only the second time in six events the Evans – who has one win – had failed to finish on the podium this season.

But he faces a tough ask overhauling his team-mate with six rounds remaining.

Ogier overhauled Toyota team-mate Takamoto Katsuta to take the lead on the penultimate stage after Neuville’s retirement on stage 14

The next round is Rally Estonia on 15-18 July.

1 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC) 3h18m11.3s
2 Takamoto Katsuta/Dan Barritt (Toyota Yaris WRC) +21.8s
3 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m09.5s
4 Adrien Fourmaux/Renaud Jamoul (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1m44.7s
5 Gus Greensmith/Chris Patterson (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1m54.6s
6 Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC) +10m53.4s
7 Onkar Rai/Drew Sturrock (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5) +29m26.4s
8 Karan Patel/Tauseef Khan (Ford Fiesta R5) +33m30.4s
9 Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5) +36m40.7s
10 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC) +49m22.7s



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