Elfyn Evans will return to WRC action on home ground in Britain in October after it was confirmed today (Friday) he will miss a third consecutive round in Turkey next month.
The M-Sport Ford driver was absent from the last two fixtures in Finland and Germany after injuring his back in a heavy landing at last month’s non-championship Shell Helix Rally Estonia.
He has also been ruled out of Rally Turkey (12 - 15 September), but specialists have given the Welshman the go-ahead to get back behind the wheel of his Ford Fiesta at Wales Rally GB (3 - 6 October).
“It’s important to ensure I’m 100 percent fit before coming back, so I won’t be in Turkey,” said Evans. “As frustrating as that is, I trust the experts and know how important it is to make sure the injury is fully healed.
“When I come back I want to be at full strength and able to pick up where we left off – challenging for the top results over the final part of the season.”
Evans’ absence in Turkey means M-Sport Ford will run only two top category cars for Teemu Suninen and Pontus Tidemand.
Team principal Rich Millener said the green light for Evans to resume competition was a major boost for the squad heading into the final third of the season.
“He and Scott (co-driver Martin) had a really strong start to the year and we’re all hoping they can continue that same performance on their return,” he said.
“We’ve not had the best of luck recently, but we’re focused on giving Elfyn and Teemu their best chance of fighting for fourth place in the championship – a battle which currently sees five drivers separated by just 10 points.”
Evans was fourth in the standings when injury struck. Despite missing two rounds he has only slipped to sixth, two points adrift of Kris Meeke and one behind Andreas Mikkelsen.