Increasing confidence leads to seventh place in Finland for Elfyn
The M-Sport World Rally Team’s young Welsh driver Elfyn Evans completed the 2014 Neste Oil Rally Finland in seventh place. Elfyn and his more experienced colleague Mikko Hirvonen were amongst eight Ford Fiesta drivers in the first 15 finishers – giving M-Sport’s range of award-winning machinery an impressive 53 per cent of the overall top-15.
Hirvonen, on his home event, finished fifth while in the sister M-Sport Fiesta RS WRC, Elfyn Evans came to the end of the rally hungry for more. There is no greater thrill than powering a world rally car through Finland’s rollercoaster stages and the youngster is relishing the opportunity to return with his newly gained knowledge.
Progression was the name of the game and after a somewhat shaky start whilst getting accustomed to the rally’s unique nature, Elfyn showcased some encouraging progression. Growing in confidence as he better understood the characteristics of his Fiesta through the fast-paced stages, he became more comfortable which prompted some highly impressive split times.
Having only completed the full event behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta R2 in his previous encounters, the Welshman experienced the unforgiving stages through a completely different lens this weekend, and the knowledge gained will be invaluable to his future development.
Before this weekend I had only ever completed the full distance in an R2 car so to come here for the first time in a world rally car was a bit of an eye opener! There’s no comparison between the two. To have the opportunity to drive a car like this on these stages is absolutely incredible.
This is such a unique event that there is an element of specialist pacenotes and specialist driving styles. Everything we’ve learnt this weekend will be very important for the future and I’m sure we’ll be a lot stronger when we come back as a result.
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
This was an encouraging performance from Elfyn. He showed some good progression and was very professional when he picked up a puncture on Saturday afternoon – ensuring that he got the car safely back to service. The experience he has gained here this weekend will be of huge benefit when he returns next year.