Elfyn consolidates a 4th place in the championship with another good result in Sardegna
Ensuring that both of the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Fiestas finished in the top-four, Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin collected another strong haul of points to consolidate their fourth place in the championship alongside the second place finish of Teemu Suninen and Jarmo Lehtinen.
The British pairing had been part of a Fiesta one-two through the early stages, but fell adrift of the podium when the second pass of Castelsardo (SS7) was cancelled for the cars behind – giving their rivals the benefit of fresher tyres and a better road position the following day.
Locked in an intense battle for fourth place, which became a battle for third given the late drama, the Welshman missed out by less than a second. But despite forgoing a double podium for the Fiesta, he strengthens his championship position going into the summer break.
It’s really disappointing to have missed out by such a small margin. Looking back, the first stage of the loop was okay but we gave far too much away in both passes of the Power Stage. It’s so rough in there and so easy to make a mistake – but also so easy to make the time if you’re willing to put it all on the line.
I wouldn’t say that we didn’t push, but I was definitely too cautious in the hairpins and that’s where we lost it. It’s difficult right now, but it’s still a good result and we’ve strengthened our position in the championship.
Team Principal, Richard Millener, said:
It’s been a really good weekend for us with both cars challenging for the top results. We’ve now led a rally on snow, asphalt and gravel, and secured some really strong points in the process. We’ve closed the gap on Citroen, and our two drivers are up to fourth and fifth after ‘the big three’ which is really impressive.
It’s a shame Elfyn missed out on the podium, but Andreas had a lot to prove and was pushing really hard. Those stages are so rough, and when you have nothing to lose you can take all the risks and gain a lot of time. Of course it’s a bit gutting to have missed out on a double podium by just 0.9 seconds, but we need to look at the bigger picture where Elfyn and Scott have strengthened their championship position as, ‘the best of the rest.