Having led the event for two full days, Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt were deprived of a maiden FIA World Rally Championship victory by the smallest of margins today – missing out on the win by a mere 0.7 seconds.
Starting the day with an 11.5 second advantage, Evans was in a relaxed and confident mood but the rally god’s were to have other ideas.
Encountering a brake issue through the opening speed test, the Welshman did well to lose just 2.5 seconds to a chasing Thierry Neuville. On the second stage however, an ALS issue would see his nine second advantage transformed to just 0.6 seconds.
The Power Stage would decide the outcome of the rally and Evans wasn’t going to give up without a fight. Pushing hard behind the wheel of his DMACK-shod Fiesta, the Welshman gave it everything and was 3.1 seconds up on Neuville at the mid-point split.
But as the dramatic stage continued, Evans started to lose traction in the rear and had to forgo victory by the smallest and cruellest of margins.
Despite the initial disappointment, Evans will take confidence from this weekend’s event. When everything was working well, the Welshman was untouchable and secured more stage victories than any other driver.