Up-and-coming driver Elfyn Evans has been handed a vital role in the test and development programme for the M-Sport World Rally Team’s 2015-spec Ford Fiesta RS WRC.
The 25-year-old is contesting his first full season as a World Rally Car driver but team boss Malcolm Wilson believes getting the Welshman involved in the team’s rigorous test programme will help to build his confidence ahead of the rallies where he will be allowed to push later in the season.
“Elfyn did one test day prior to Portugal and four solid days last week,” Wilson told WRC.com. “Last week alone he did around 1200 kilometres so he’s getting some fantastic seat time in a WR Car. I know how much that can help a driver and he’s certainly racking up the kilometres.”
Wilson remains pleased with Evans’ performances so far in what has been openly described as a ‘learning year’. But he is also predicting that the youngster will be allowed to show his true rally speed when the WRC arrives at the events he already has experience of.
“His first three events were exactly what we were looking for,” Wilson said.
“In Portugal, he unfortunately had his accident on the first day but the important thing for me was for him to come back on Saturday and continue at the pace he’d been going at to prove to me that he was suffering no after effects of his first major accident in a WR Car. It was a very encouraging second day in Portugal.
“Argentina is all about making sure he finishes and gets the vital experience of completing the whole rally. Later on, when we get to the events where he’s been before – like Finland – we’ll be trying to get him to up his pace a little bit.”