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Elfyn keeps his cool to finish sixth in Sardinia

Elfyn’s Qatar M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC started the rally’s second day in ninth place, less than nine seconds behind Kosciuszko, and so Elfyn would have to concentrate on moving up the leaderboard while focusing on his intention of finishing the rally. On the day’s third stage – Monte Di Ala’ 1 – Elfyn was seventh fastest, gaining over thirteen seconds and so overtaking the Polish driver. An overshoot at a junction on the next stage meant Elfyn lost the place he’d just taken, but the advantage swung his way once again on Stage 13 and he held his nerve to end the event 0.9 seconds in front.

Two of the other drivers ahead of Elfyn had their share of problems during the day, leaving the delighted Elfyn and Giovanni to finish the rally in sixth place. The result is particularly impressive as Elfyn only had a little over a week’s notice that he’d be competing on the event and so was unable to carry out any testing in preparation. Besides being his first appearance in a World Rally Car, he’d also never competed in Sardinia before and this was the first time that Giovanni had co-driven for him.

Elfyn said:

It's been a great weekend. It didn't start off so easy for us - we knew it was always going to be difficult, but we got better and better as the weekend went on. When others hit problems, we managed to stay on the road and the result came in the end.

I just want to thank everyone involved for the opportunity – it’s been an absolutely fantastic experience and we both `{`Giovanni Bernacchini, co-driver, and I`}` really enjoyed it.

I certainly didn’t expect to finish in the top-six before the event – I wasn’t sure that I would make it to the finish let alone finish in sixth so it is very pleasing to be here. I’ve learnt masses. It’s fantastic preparation for Finland with the `{`Ford Fiesta`}` R5 and I’ve learnt so much about how to get the most out of the car, the event, and working with a different co-driver. Giovanni has been excellent so big thanks to him.

Obviously this result means a great deal. To finish sixth on my debut is massive! I’m not sure what it means for the future, but it’s definitely improved my skills as a driver and provided me with more knowledge and experience than I could have ever hoped for. It’s brilliant… and I can’t stop smiling!

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:

Elfyn’s performance was outstanding. This was always going to be a difficult event for him – his first time in the WRC car, his first time at Rally Italia and his first time with Giovanni `{`Bernacchini, co-driver`}` – but he mastered the challenge brilliantly. He was constantly improving and I think this experience will make him all the more competitive when he returns to WRC 2 in Finland. We certainly made the right decision by putting him in the car.

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