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Elfyn rounds off his 2014 season with fifth on Wales Rally GB

Competing on his home event in a World Rally Car for the first time, Elfyn Evans finished the 2014 Wales Rally GB in a strong fifth place. The result rounds off a terrific ‘rookie season’ for Elfyn in the WRC, which has seen him finish in fourth place twice (in Mexico and Germany) while the young Welshman also won the Power Stage on the ADAC Rally Deutschland.

The final round of the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship witnessed the retirement from the sport of Elfyn’s teammate, Mikko Hirvonen, who bowed out of the sport by finishing in second place. In true Wales Rally GB style, the stages were treacherously slippery but Hirvonen controlled the situation brilliantly. Conserving his pace when necessary and pushing when comfortable, the Finnish driver adopted an effective mix of speed and consistency – setting a string of competitive times including the fastest time through the second pass of Stage 15.

In the sister M-Sport Fiesta RS WRC, Elfyn Evans secured fifth place and so finished as the highest-placed British driver. The Welshman, partnered by co-driver Daniel Barritt, didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend and displayed real strength of character; unwilling to be pressurised into any unnecessary battles.

Concentrating on his own event, Evans upped his pace considerably throughout the weekend to produce what has been one of his best performances on gravel. Securing a joint second fastest time through the second pass of Kinmel Park (SS21), the youngster was steadily reigning in fourth-placed man Thierry Neuville.

Despite having to settle for fifth, Elfyn goes into 2015 with his confidence high – ready to show more of his true potential.

Elfyn said:

I think we would have taken fifth place at the start of the event for sure. We knew before the rally started that even bettering our result from last year would have been a good achievement given the depth of the entry. To come away in fifth is strong and I think we’ve managed to show some good speed along the way.

All in all it’s been a good weekend and a good way to finish off the year. I can’t wait to start next season now. We’ve got a lot more experience and I’m looking forward to what I hope will be another successful season at this level.

Finally, I want to wish Mikko `{`Hirvonen`}` all the best. I really couldn’t have wished for a better team mate this year. He and Jarmo `{`Lehtinen, co-driver`}` have been so willing to share their experience over the year and if I can achieve anything like his CV at the end of my career then I would be very proud indeed. It was great to see him end such an influential career with such a positive result and I know that the whole team will really miss him and Jarmo next year.

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:

Elfyn has had a really good weekend. He did exactly what was asked of him and came away with a strong fifth place. He didn’t let the pressure of being at home get to him at all and showed some really encouraging speed along the way. I think it’s fair to say that this has been one of his best performances on gravel and we’re all looking forward to seeing what he can do with a year of experience under his belt next year.