Elfyn Evans hopes to use well the experience on gravel in Rally Mexico in the next 2017 WRC round on the same surface.
Evans and Daniel Barritt incurred a 5-minute penalty after the first couple of stages because of an engine change. That is why they were playing catch-up from the start.
The crew started the rally in last position and contended with the worst of the road cleaning through the longest day of competition. Still the Brits climbed safely into the top ten. The Welshman secured three stage victories on his way to ninth place overall. He also gained a wealth of knowledge which he hopes will pay dividends on the next gravel outing in Argentina.
Elfyn Evans said:
“It’s been a tricky rally with the penalty and then having to run first on the road. But overall I think we can be pretty happy with it. This was our first time on gravel with these new cars and we completed all of the mileage with good speed and three stage victories.”
“It could have been a lot worse for sure and we’ve collected a lot of good knowledge which bodes well for the next gravel outing in Argentina.”
In the WRC 2 category, Éric Camilli and Benjamin Veillas strengthened their second position in the drivers’ standings. They led the way before having to settle for second place behind the wheel of their Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta R5.
Éric Camilli said:
“I’m happy with second place but at the same time I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to win. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. Pontus [Tidemand] drove really well and we didn’t have the best recce of the last stages so it wasn’t possible to do more.”
“I’m still really pleased with my speed. We had a few issues on the opening day, but this rally has made it clear that we have the pace to challenge for wins on gravel – and that is really good. When everything was working well, we felt really comfortable in the car and our times were really strong.”
“A big thanks to the team who have worked really hard all hours of the day. It’s looking good for the future.”
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson, added:
“It’s not just in the main field that we’ve shown our strength. In the WRC 2 category, Éric has been very impressive. He’s been a bit unlucky at times, but when everything was working in his favour I think it’s fair to say that he had the measure of everyone else. It’s great to see him regaining his confidence, but it’s also great from a team perspective with a new evolution for the Fiesta R5 waiting in the wings.”