Elfyn Evans wins 2012 FST International Shootout
It was winning the UK Fiesta series that saw Elfyn qualify to take part in the Shootout, alongside young driving talent from across Europe – all winners of their respective Fiesta championships. As in previous years, the Shootout was based at M-Sport’s headquarters at Dovenby Hall in Cumbria and consisted of two days of competition, culminating in the announcement of the winner by M-Sport’s Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson.
Day One’s assesments were held at Dovenby itself, with competitors tested on their media skills in front of an international panel of rallying journalists. Next came a psychological aptitude test, devised by Edinburgh University’s Sports Science department, together with a physical challenge in the form of a wheelchange challenge against the clock. Elfyn took top marks in both the media and physical tests and was second in the psychological evaluation.
For Day Two, the Shootout moved to Carlisle Airport, where the drivers had three timed runs over a stage laid out on the broken surface of the airport’s old taxiways. With the best two runs counting, Elfyn snatched victory by just one-tenth of a second and so went through to a one-on-one interview with Malcolm Wilson. Elfyn emerged from that interview as the winner of the Shootout and so will start work at M-Sport in early January, learning the technical aspects of building and running the team’s Ford Fiesta rally cars.
His prize for winning the WRC Academy is the choice of 13 events in an R2-specification Fiesta or a move up to a Super 2000 Fiesta for 5 WRC rounds. The fact that he’ll be living and working at M-Sport means Elfyn has the perfect opportunity to progress his already impressive career still further in 2013.
It’s a fantastic feeling; to come here to round the year off and to come away having won is a fantastic way to end the year. Together with the prize from the Academy, it’ll be a great experience next year to work with the team and I really hope I can make the most of it. It’s been an incredible season and I hope we can keep the momentum going into next year.
Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
This is the sixth Fiesta Shootout and each one has got harder and harder. Elfyn came out on top by just one-tenth of a second but, looking at the year he’s had, we were delighted to be able to get him into the M-Sport fold. We hope to be able to give him a good programme and to get him as much seat time as possible. We also want him to learn about the engineering side and perhaps work with some of our other drivers, but the priority is to get him testing, to get some good feedback from him and get him on as many World Championship events as possible.