Wilson’s podium belief

M-Sport Ford boss Malcolm Wilson has backed Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen to deliver another podium at this week’s Rally Italia Sardegna (7 - 10 June).

After a lacklustre start to the season, Evans (above) finished second at last month’s Vodafone Rally de Portugal. Suninen claimed his first WRC podium in third and Wilson believes they could be in the frame again in Italy.

“They proved in Portugal that they’re ready and capable of challenging for the top results. Both could secure another podium and their recent performance provided a big boost for the team,” he said.

Both drivers have favourable start positions for Friday’s opening leg on sandy gravel tracks and Evans is eyeing a strong performance in conditions that will be similar to Portugal.

“After our good result in Portugal we’re keen to keep that momentum going in Sardinia. We’ve completed two days of testing and we’ll have a fairly good road position on Friday that we’ll need to make the most of.

“If everything goes our way, I see no reason why we can’t be challenging for another strong result,” said the Fiesta driver, who made his World Rally Car debut at this event in 2013 as a replacement for Nasser Al-Attiyah and finished sixth.

Suninen scored a career-best third place in Portugal

Suninen knows what to expect from one of the season’s roughest rounds, having won WRC 2 here in 2016, and the Finn will not be drawn into comparisons with other drivers.

“By focusing on my rivals my speed won’t improve. I’ll focus purely on my own driving and on improving stage by stage – then we’ll see where we are at the end of the rally,” he said.

“We completed a one day test last week which proved really useful. The road was quite slow, but that was good for me as it’s on these slower roads where I need to focus on improvements. Where it’s slow and narrow and you need to take an advantage over every inch of the road.”

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