Despite dominating the WRC 2 category at the Che Guevara Tour de Corse and maintaining his championship lead, Elfyn Evans is still unsure whether he has a future in the WRC.
The Welshman beat Skoda Motorsport’s asphalt specialist Jan Kopecky by 33.3sec on the Mediterranean island to record his third WRC 2 success of the season and underline his position as the man to beat in the title race.
However, the Ford Fiesta R5 driver, who was demoted from M-Sport’s factory line up at the end of the 2015 season, is still waiting to learn whether he has done enough to earn a World Rally Car programme in 2017. Evans admitted it’s a frustrating situation.
“We’ve done what we were asked to do this year,” said Evans, who also won this year’s British Rally Championship title in a Fiesta R5. “We’ve had a limited opportunity to compete at world level with minimal testing. We’ve delivered as much as we can.”
“I know I’m a lot faster than a good handful of guys – more than a handful of guys – that are already in WRC seats, but it’s basically a waiting game.”
Evans, who briefly led the 2015 Tour de Corse at the end of the first day, believes he is worthy of a manufacturer seat next season and is unsure whether his 2016 R5 programme hasn’t significantly boosted his chances of landing a coveted World Rally Car berth.
He said: “Okay, every year you learn something new and you gain something. But ultimately I don’t think this year was a positive step in my career in a way.
“Obviously I’m still as hungry as ever and, of course, I continue to learn different techniques and other skills, but I would have preferred to be in a World Rally Car still at this point, that’s for sure.”
Evans said it was impossible to say how strong his chances are of continuing in the WRC next season, but he has spoken to various teams in the service park.
“There are some options but I’ve been in this situation a few times before and I know how quickly things change. I take nothing for granted until there’s an offer and it’s signed and sealed,” he said.
With Volkswagen Motorsport having three drivers contracted for the 2017 season, there are potential openings at M-Sport, Hyundai, Citroën and the new Toyota squad.