Mature drive nets Elfyn seventh place in Argentina
The 2014 Rally Argentina saw Elfyn Evans claim seventh place – a result that underlined the young Welsh driver’s growing maturity in the WRC. Tackling the event for the first time, Elfyn was determined to gain valuable experience and so drove at a pace that meant he finished the rally with no real dramas, unlike several of his rivals who ran into problems over the first two legs.
If the opening two days were not taxing enough, the final leg incorporated two legendary stages in the Valle de Traslasierra. Meandering through moonlike vistas littered with huge boulders and tight hairpin bends, ‘Giulio Cesare – Mina Clavero’ and ‘El Condor – Copina’ are demanding at the best of times. Combine that with the added complication of thick fog and mud, and the final loop of stages provided what was arguably the biggest challenge of the weekend.
Elfyn and his co-driver Daniel Barritt continued to develop their skills throughout the three days. Making it through all 14 stages unscathed, it was very much ‘mission accomplished’ for the young Welshman, who leaves his first visit to Argentina with a wealth of experience that will be invaluable in years to come.
Piloting his M-Sport Ford Fiesta World Rally Car through some of the championship’s most technically demanding terrain, Evans showed real maturity and is now well placed to continue his progression at the sport’s highest level.
It’s not been easy to display good speed whist being safe at the same time and, for me, it has definitely been the most difficult event of the year. When you’re trying to learn a new rally you tend to settle into a rhythm as the event unfolds, but here, there is something new all the time and you are constantly learning how to tackle each variation.
With regards to the first day, the stages were very technical in nature and there was no margin for error. Yesterday was quite high-speed with a really soft surface so it was quite difficult to commit, and today the weather made things very tricky with mixed conditions within the stages themselves.
Although it has admittedly been a bit of a frustrating weekend for me, I know that the amount we have learnt will undoubtedly help my development for the future. We’ve made it to the end without incident and that is a big positive. Now it’s just a case of going back over the data with the team to decipher exactly where we can improve for next year.
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
It’s fair to say that Elfyn was a little frustrated with his pace this weekend, but from start to finish, he has done exactly what was asked of him. It’s sometimes difficult for a young driver to hold back, but Elfyn knows how vital this experience will be for the future and I’ve been very impressed with his mature approach.