Stunning performance from Elfyn in Germany
Elfyn and his co-driver Dan Barritt had battled with the former Formula One star Robert Kubica for the entire rally and the WRC2 lead changed hands on several occasions during the four-day event. Going into the final stage a little over 18 seconds adrift of Kubica, Elfyn was clearly determined that the battle would go down to the wire and stormed through the stage. Despite setting a faster time, it wasn’t quite enough and so Elfyn finished the rally just under 13 seconds adrift of Kubica.
By finishing in sixth place overall, Elfyn and Dan equalled the result they achieved on the Rally Sardinia in June. On that occasion, however, Elfyn made his debut in a World Rally Car and so to repeat the feat on only the second event for the new Ford Fiesta R5 was an incredible achievement. Tricky tyre choices caused by the unpredictable German weather, combined with an alarming coughing fit on one stage and a brief excursion through a ditch late on Day 3 meant that Elfyn was unable to take maximum points in the WRC2 category, although there’ll be several more opportunities for him to take his revenge this season.
This has been a really enjoyable rally - we had a great fight with Robert from start to finish. There were a couple of small errors from my side which cost us pretty dearly, to be honest, but other than that I think we can be really happy with what we achieved here.
We were a bit too cautious on the first stage this morning (SS15). Robert really pushed on and took ten seconds out of us there, so that was really the end of our hopes. We had a decent run through the last stage, taking six seconds out of him, but it wasn't quite enough.
The car has been absolutely sensational all weekend. We already knew how good it was on gravel and I think now we've proved that it is just as competitive on tarmac. Everyone should go out and buy one! It's been a really enjoyable weekend and I can't wait to get back behind the wheel in France.
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
It was another extremely strong performance from Elfyn as he demonstrated the R5's potential on asphalt as well as gravel - proving that it's the car to have on all surfaces. He produced a very mature and sensible drive in difficult conditions.
To be exchanging the lead with somebody like Robert Kubica whilst not allowing himself to get sucked into making any mistakes in the heat of the moment was very impressive. I'm sure he will go away from here having leaned a lot and I'm looking forward to seeing how he fares against Robert over the remaining rounds.