Monday | 22 Nov 2021

Evans vows to return stronger after Monza defeat

Losing the FIA World Rally Championship title in a final round shootout for the second year has made Elfyn Evans ‘more hungry’ for success.

The Welshman was defeated by Toyota Gazoo Racing team-mate Sébastien Ogier on Sunday in an epic title decider at FORUM8 ACI Rally Monza. But finishing runner-up for a second year has only strengthened his resolve to come back stronger.

Ogier took both the title and the rally win after a thrilling encounter in which the lead changed hands six times. Evans remains unbowed and eager to go again in next year’s exciting new hybrid Rally1 cars.

“It was my best season in the championship and I was happy to fight for the title,” he reflected. “If you had asked me two years ago then you would have said I was probably dreaming if I was going to fight for the title two years in a row. From that side we can be happy.

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“Then, when you are in the moment, you always want more. Now the feeling I have makes we more hungry for the future.

“It’s tough,” said Evans. “Of course it is. I wanted more – you always want more. I’m disappointed to miss out on the title, but that was always a long shot. I’m also disappointed that I made a mistake and that cost me the chance to win this rally.”

Sunday’s outcome mirrored last year’s finale. Evans went to the Italian finale leading the championship but crashed to allow Ogier to grab the title.

With just over eight weeks before the start of the 2022 season, Evans admitted the work rate would only be heading one direction.

Video: FORUM8 ACI Rally Monza review

“There’s always more to do,” he said. “The work just never stops and I’m always pushing for more and more. I’m really happy for the team this year, we worked hard and to take the manufacturers’ championship is a great result – now we’re looking forward to next season.

“We have new cars, new regulations and a clean sheet of paper. But we’ve still got plenty to do before we get to Monte.”

At least there will be no opportunity of a third disappointment at Ogier’s hands. The now eight-time champion will step back to a part-programme in 2022.

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