Off pace Evans seeks answers

Elfyn Evans says he and his M-Sport Ford team must find answers to why he was off the pace at last weekend’s YPF Rally Argentina, 12 months after he almost won the event.

The Welshman finished sixth, more than three minutes down on winner Ott Tänak, after a lacklustre performance in his Ford Fiesta that produced just two top five stage times all rally. 

It was in stark contrast to his appearance in 2017, when Evans was on course to win until a mistake on the final stage allowed Thierry Neuville to take victory by 0.7sec.

Evans said: “The pace just wasn’t there this weekend. It was disappointing and not what we came here to do. On the whole I felt that the driving wasn’t particularly bad, but the times just haven’t been there. 

“We need to understand why that is and do better. We tried to look for set-up changes during service but it was really difficult to do anything in such a short space of time.”

Evans couldn’t point to one particular area that held him back but is eager to find a solution before his next appearance on gravel at Vodafone Rally de Portugal (17-20 May).

“I have a few rallies that perhaps historically I’ve not been as strong at, but honestly there is nothing that is standing out at this particular rally than others in the past,” he explained.  “Certainly on some stages the time loss was a lot more than we expected so let’s wait and see. 

“We need to do some analysis to try and understand why that was. The engineers will study the data, I’ll study the onboards, and hopefully we can get back on it in Portugal.”

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