Elfyn Evans hopes to rekindle the form that earned his best ever FIA World Rally Championship result as he puts in his final bid for the WRC 2 title at the Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse (29 September - 2 October) this week.
Evans finished second overall at the Mediterranean island asphalt classic last year and must reproduce similar pace in the FIA World Rally Championship’s principal support category in his final outing of the season.
The Welshman holds a two-point advantage in his Ford Fiesta R5 but must score well as closest rivals Teemu Suninen and Esapekka Lappi, who lie second and third but are not entered in Corsica, have two scoring opportunities remaining.
“This will be our last outing in the WRC 2 championship. Our goal is always to score maximum points and if we can have a clean run then I think that is achievable. We’ll go out there and do our best, but in terms of the championship it will be a case of wait and see after that,” he said.
Evans’ strongest opposition could come from Skoda Motorsport’s Jan Kopecký, who will bid to extend the Fabia R5’s run of seven consecutive WRC 2 victories.
Kopecký, who was second in Germany last month, has finished second overall in Corsica three times previously and knows what is required to be successful on the demanding mountain roads.
“Corsica is one of the greatest challenges in the world championship season. Drivers have to be very gentle with their tyres and brakes. The very long special stages are extremely unforgiving and you cannot lose concentration,” said the Czech driver.
A range of French asphalt specialists are lined up to spoil the chances of Evans and Kopecký. Islander Pierre-Louis Loubet has good knowledge of the roads while Quentin Gilbert, Julien Maurin, Quentin Giordano and Yoann Bonato should also challenge.
Belgium’s Ghislain de Mevius and Spaniard Jose Suarez are strong on asphalt while works Hyundai driver Kevin Abbring brings a taste of the future as he gives a competitive debut to the Korean manufacturer’s i20 R5.