Friday | 05 Mar 2021

Second time round ruined Evans’ Arctic weekend

Elfyn Evans believes he lost his chance of back-to-back WRC winter wins during the second pass of last weekend’s special stages at Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox.

The Toyota Yaris driver won Rally Sweden 12 months ago but was disappointed with fifth in Lapland. He bagged two fastest times out of 10 stages and both came on the first run.

The Welshman pulled no punches in his analysis of his Arctic Circle weekend.

“It was terrible,” he said. “The first pass was OK and I was able to put together some very, very good speed. I felt we could be as fast as anybody on the first time through the stages when the conditions were fresh.

Video: Arctic Rally Finland - heli special

“But once the ruts were there on the second pass I struggled, maybe the most of the Toyota drivers.

“It wasn’t the performance we came to do. There were times where we could be very fast but unfortunately nowhere near consistent enough to challenge for any top positions. It always seemed to be the second pass that we struggled more so we need to sit down and try to understand why that was,” he added.

Evans admitted preparations for the event hadn’t helped in terms of conditions.

“Testing in -30°C and then coming to compete with much warmer weather maybe wasn’t ideal, but what can you do? You can’t predict those things. We could have come here to the rally and had the same as the test and everything would have been perfect,” he said.

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Failing to overhaul Craig Breen for fourth in a rally-closing Wolf Power Stage fight was a cause of frustration for Evans.

Evans was quickest through the penultimate test, the Yaris WRC driver reclaiming 6.5sec from the Irishman to head into the final test with just 3.6ecs separating them. Breen then stopped the clock 3.5sec faster in the final stage in his Hyundai i20 to hold on to fourth.