WRC 2 championship leader Elfyn Evans will complete his title campaign driving a Ford Fiesta R5 Evo on the Tour de Corse - Rallye de France (29 September - 2 October), his M-Sport team confirmed today.
The asphalt event will be the finale to an up-and-down season for the Welshman who is targeting a return to top level WRC competition in 2017 after being dropped from M-Sport's World Rally Car squad last year.
His WRC 2 season started strongly with wins on the opening two rounds before a dramatic reversal of fortunes slashed his advantage and put his programme in doubt altogether.
Despite stage-winning pace on every round, an electrical problem in Argentina, a roll in Portugal and power-steering failures in Poland and Finland allowed Skoda rivals Teemu Suninen and Esapekka Lappi to close right up.
Evans currently leads the WRC 2 driver standings on 95 points, two ahead of chief challenger Suninen, who has tackled one less event.
Ahead of the rally he led outright last year in a World Rally Car, Evans told wrc.com he was eyeing a return to the top step of the WRC 2 podium. "The target will be to gain maximum points. If everything works in our favour, I’m confident that we can achieve that," he said.
“I think we’ve proven that we had the speed to challenge at every event this year, but luck has not always been on our side. If we can finish the season with a maximum points score, the ball will be in everyone else’s court and it’s up to them to catch us. We’ll do our best, and then it will just be a case of wait and see,” he added.
M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson acknowledged the job Evans and co-driver Craig Parry had done in proving the performance of the upgraded Ford Fiesta R5 Evo model.
Wison said: “Their performance at the start of the year was very impressive. We have a small team working alongside Elfyn and Craig, and they have to compete without the luxury of a large test programme. Regardless, they have taken everything in their stride and truly taken the fight to their WRC 2 rivals."