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Frustration for Elfyn as run of Spanish bad luck continues

The 2014 RallyRACC – Rally de España saw Elfyn Evans forced to restart under the Rally 2 regulations after leaving the road on the event’s first day. The rally – the penultimate round of the 2014 World Rally Championship – was particularly frustrating for Elfyn as a similar incident put paid to any hope of a good result on the 2013 event.

With his M-Sport teammate Mikko Hirvonen finishing on the podium in third place, Elfyn must have been left wondering what might have been. Strong performances on both the previous two European WRC rounds, plus previous experience of the Spanish event, suggested he might have been battling with his Finnish colleague, but that mistake on the first day of competition brought a premature end to those hopes. The Welshman was quick to put the disappointment behind him but found he was then chasing the optimum set-up for the event’s asphalt tests.

Having made some changes to their Fiesta, Elfyn and his co-driver Daniel Barritt felt more comfortable through the final day’s stages and were able to extract more performance from the car and tyres.

Building their confidence as the event progressed, the pairing have established a good platform on which to build when they return to the Costa Daurada for the second time in a world rally car next year.

Elfyn said:

It’s been a difficult rally for us. Friday was very difficult and the two days on Tarmac were okay, but maybe not what we were expecting based on the previous events.

I made too many silly mistakes on Friday. If we had managed to stay on the road, then I think I would have been happy with the pace but in reality we weren’t in any sort of a battle after that. Then on Tarmac we had a chance to play around with the set-up to find out what worked well and what didn’t work quite so well. Of course we’ve learnt a lot and as a result we’ll be sure to come back stronger next year.

Now our attention turns to Wales and our home event. The preparation starts now and I’m determined to end the season with a positive result.

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:

It’s fair to say that Elfyn was a little disappointed with the way the weekend unfolded for him. Unlike Mikko, he struggled to find a set-up that best suited his driving style and had been on the back foot because of that. It’s something that comes with experience, but he felt a lot more comfortable today and was able to secure an additional manufacturers’ point for the team which could make all the difference at the final round in Wales.

With just 12 points separating second to fourth in the battle for second place in the manufacturers’ title, I think that it is going to be a very exciting end to the season. If we can secure fourth place in the drivers’ standings along with second in the manufacturers’, it would be an absolutely fantastic achievement for the team.