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Evans claims maiden WRC Academy victory

Second-fastest to rookie Pontus Tidemand on the opening stage on Thursday evening, Evans then scored a clean-sweep on Friday’s six stages to assume control at the head of the Academy leaderboard. The stages, including the Acropolis classics ‘Bauxites’ and ‘Drossohori’, had to be completed using only the spares carried in the rally cars, so Elfyn’s tactics of pushing hard where he could and easing off to preserve the car on the rougher sections meant he avoided the kind of problems experienced by other Academy competitors and so led by 29.5 seconds after Day 1.

Re-starting on Saturday morning, the crews contested four stages through the beautiful Peloponnese peninsula in what would be later be seen as easily the roughest day of competition in this year’s WRC. The abrasive nature of the stages – littered with large rocks and sections of exposed bedrock – claimed a number of victims.

But Evans, accompanied for the first time on an Academy round by experienced Welsh co-driver Phil Pugh, stayed out of trouble to claim a further two stage wins and so secured his maiden WRC Academy victory. The result moves Elfyn into second place in the series behind Alastair Fisher with Brendan Reeves in third position.

Elfyn said:

I am very happy and this event is definitely up there as one of my best results. It has been a difficult event and SS11 was probably the toughest stage I have ever driven, but the Fiesta R2 and the Pirelli tyres have done fantastically well. It was very rough in places and yet we didn't have a single puncture. If you saw the conditions, I don't think you would believe that the tyres would be able to cope so it is a real credit to Pirelli.

We had a really tough rally in Portugal so put a lot of work into preparing for Greece and everything has gone well. Phil (Pugh) has been world class and I am lucky to have him in the car.