It’s All Down To The Final Round Again, As Elfyn Evans Keeps WRC Title Hopes Alive With Second In Spain

Elfyn Evans finishes as runner-up in the World Rally Championship. Pic: Getty Images.

It’s All Down To The Final Round Again, As Elfyn Evans Keeps WRC Title Hopes Alive With Second In Spain

By Paul Evans

Elfyn Evans has kept his hopes of becoming World Rally champion title alive by finishing second on Rally Spain.

Evans took an 18 point lead into the final Rally Monzalast year, but crashed out and handed the title to Sébastien Ogier.

This time Evans goes to Italy 17 points behind Ogier.

Once again the world title showdown is between these two drivers – and whilst it will need Ogier to make a very rare and disastrous mistake for Evans to be crowned champion, recent history suggests that Monza in the place where the odd and unexpected can happen.

For Ogier it would be an incredible eighth world title before he quits a full time WRC career.

Elfyn Evans led Rally Spain after opening day but had to settle for second to keep in title hunt. Pic: Toyota Gazoo Racing

For Evans it would be his first world title – and he’ll start next year’s series as one of the title favourites regardless.

Co-driven by Scott Martin, Evans initially led Rally Spain and built up a 7.6 second advantage in his Toyota Yaris WRC after the opening four ultra-fast asphalt stages.

But he was overtaken by Thierry Neuville and after a close battle for victory the Belgian driver won the event, coming home 24.1 seconds ahead of the Dolgellau ace.

And Neuville’s Hyundai team-mate Dani Sordo did Evans a favour by overtaking Ogier on the final day and pushing the series leader down to fourth.

Evans was also faster than Ogier on the bonus points scoring Power Stage, meaning that he outscored his Toyota team-mate by seven points in Spain.

But Evans wanted and ideally needed to win in Spain and felt that perhaps he should have.

“Second place is a positive result but it’s not so easy to be happy when we made such a good start to the weekend,” admitted Evans.

Unfortunately it faded away a little bit and I didn’t feel completely at one with everything.

“There was perhaps a little bit more to gain from this weekend.

“The good thing from the weekend is that we managed to close the points gap and that the championship is still open.

“Realistically it’s a big gap to close in one round, but as we experienced last year, anything can still happen and we’ll try our best once again at Monza.”

The title-deciding final round of the 2021 World Rally Championship is Rally Monza on 1821 November.


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