Drivers warn of rough ride in Argentina
Rain-damaged stages add to the challenge
The M-Sport World Rally Team duo won the inaugural WRC TV Wheel Change Challenge in Villa Carlos Paz ahead of the start of the fourth round of the FIA World Rally Championship tonight (Thursday).
Evans and Barritt were clear winners of the fun competition after 11 World Rally Car crews went up against the clock and each other in a race to see who could best handle the pressure of a timed wheel change on their rally cars.
After unfastening their seat belts and jumping out of their cars, crews changed their rear left wheel. They replaced the jack and wheel in the rear of the car before sprinting to collect an Argentine flag which driver and co-driver held aloft.
Evans and Barritt completed the task on their Ford Fiesta RS in a blistering 46.00sec to defeat Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20) in 47.07sec, with Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R) in third in 47.13sec.
“It worked out really well, but let’s hope we don’t have to put it into more practice on the rally! We’ve spent quite a lot of time over the last few years trying to get the best system and it showed. It’s a great way to start the event but repeating this win on the rally might prove a bit more difficult,” said Evans.
Last to finish were Martin Prokop and Jan Tománek who entered into the spirit of the event by donning luminous safety jackets before beginning a safety-first change. They completed in a leisurely 3min 08sec.