WRC 2 leader Elfyn Evans faces an uncertain future in the championship with the possibility that last weekend’s Neste Rally Finland could have been his last.
He won the opening two rounds in Monte-Carlo and Sweden in M-Sport’s Ford Fiesta R5. However, all six rounds since have been claimed by Skoda Fabia R5 drivers and Teemu Suninen’s second place in Finland moved him within two points of Evans.
Evans has only one potential scoring opportunity remaining while Suninen has two. Fellow title contenders Esapekka Lappi and Pontus Tidemand can count their points from three more rallies.
However, Evans has no more outings scheduled. “I have no further planned rallies so as it stands this is my last one. I’m waiting for some more opportunities. I’m not the one that is making the decisions. All I have to do is keep my head down, carry on and hope it will come good in the end,” he said.
After his strong start it was suggested Evans, who stepped back to WRC 2 after two seasons in M-Sport’s Fiesta RS World Rally Car, might return to the headline category later in the year.
He is working hard to seal a World Rally Car programme for 2017 but discussions with manufacturers have reached an impasse.
“It’s not a case of going to hire a car. I have never been able to do that in my career, I don’t have the funding to do that. It will be a case of finding whatever I can. I will work hard on securing that and hopefully something will come,” he said.
Evans’ only remaining confirmed start is the British Championship’s Ulster Rally (19 - 20 August). M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson said the Welshman’s future would be looked at after that event, at which Evans could clinch the title.
“Elfyn and Craig (Parry, co-driver) have driven very well this year and are hungry to get back behind the wheel of a World Rally Car. At the moment, however, the focus is on securing the best possible result in both the British Rally Championship and WRC 2 series.
“They’ll contest the Ulster Rally in two weeks’ time, after which we’ll assess both championships and work out which events will give them the best chance of a strong result,” he said.