Gilbert takes the WRC 2 initiative
Reigning Junior and WRC 3 champ takes his good form into 2016
The Welshman, back in WRC 2 after being dropped from M-Sport’s WRC programme, won all six speed tests in the squad’s new-specification Ford Fiesta R5 on mountain and valley roads in the French Alps near Gap.
After being almost 1min 20sec off the lead last night, he ended today 1min 32.0sec clear of Armin Kremer’s Skoda Fabia R5. Julien Maurin completed the top three, a further 10.9sec back in another Fabia R5.
Evans enjoyed a massive slice of luck in the opening stage. He was caught out by patchy ice in a right corner but bounced back onto the road after striking the stricken car of Robert Kubica, who was caught out minutes earlier.
“It was pretty straight forward. It’s great to come back to the R5 and to see the improvements the guys have made to the car. I don’t want to stay in it for too long but they’ve done a great job,” said Evans, who eyes a speedy return to the headline category.
Kremer, Maurin and day one leader Quentin Gilbert battled for the places behind Evans. All took a turn in second but Kremer ended up ahead of Maurin, with Gilbert only 5.2sec behind in Citroën’s DS 3 R5. Yoann Bonato and Quentin Giordano completed the top six.
Retirements today included Simone Tempestini, Jourdan Serderidis and Ricardo Trivino, the latter two both crashing.