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Elfyn fights back to finish fourth in Italy

Following a frustrating first day, Elfyn Evans fought back to secure a strong fourth place at this weekend’s Rally Italia. The Italian round of the WRC is an event that demands respect, and that is something that Elfyn and co-driver Daniel Barritt fully understand. It is one thing to be fast in Sardinia, but it is quite another to be clever and a purely flat-out approach rarely reaps the rewards.

Evans always competes with an air of intelligence in his driving and that faired him well this weekend. The Welshman may have lost more than three minutes to the leaders with a driveshaft issue on Friday morning, but he stormed through the field and quickly broke back into the top-five.

Having rebuilt his confidence throughout the second day’s mammoth 212.83 kilometre route, the Ford Fiesta RS WRC driver displayed a clear increase in pace which continued into the final batch of stages – setting the third fastest time through the first pass of ‘Olmedo Monte Baranta’ (SS20)

The Welshman admitted that the rhythm he had enjoyed at the start of the season had not fully returned, but the future is looking promising for Evans who is becoming stronger ahead of his more favoured events.

Elfyn said:

It’s a very unexpected result after the issues we had on Friday. It’s fair to say that we had a difficult start for various reasons. Obviously we had the issue with the driveshaft on Friday morning and then after that I just couldn’t seem to get into the flow of it.

We needed to start again on Saturday and I think it was a fairly solid run. We didn’t take any risks or chances but had a good rhythm which was a nice change from the day before! By the end of the day our fifth place was secured and when Mads `{`Østberg`}` encountered problems we moved up another place today.

It’s been a difficult couple of rallies, but the feeling is gradually coming back and I’m sure we’ll be back on it in Poland. It’s a fast rally so it could be a bit of a shock to the system, but hopefully we can get up to speed and have a good run.

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:

Elfyn was waylaid by some issues on Friday, but he knows this rally well and he was able to use that knowledge to progress well up the leader board. I think it’s fair to say that he didn’t expect to finish in fourth position following the troubles he had on Friday, but he kept it together and stayed out of trouble.

We’ve scored a good haul of points and managed the gap to our two closest rivals. Second place in the manufacturers’ championship is up for the taking and the whole team are looking forward to the events to come. We’ve shown some good speed here and both crews have shown how much potential they have moving forward.