Thursday | 26 Mar 2020

Evans on 2020 start: ‘I probably would have taken it’

Standout 2020 driver Elfyn Evans says his hugely impressive start to the FIA World Rally Championship season with Toyota Gazoo Racing is no more than he hoped for.

Evans, who switched to the Japanese manufacturer this year after spending his entire WRC career driving Ford Fiestas with M-Sport, lies second in the points after the opening three rounds.

He led Rallye Monte-Carlo for half the 16 special stages on his Yaris debut before eventually finishing third. He won in Sweden after leading from start to finish, before claiming fourth in Mexico to lie eight points behind championship leader and team-mate Sébastien Ogier.

The Welshman has been lauded for his performances but asked by if the first three rounds have exceeded his pre-season expectations, he said:

“Of course, you want to be at the front, that’s where you want to be and that’s always the target. So exceeded, no. But I probably would have taken it, especially taking my previous track record into account.

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“Already last year we were showing some good promise and it’s nice to start pulling things together. OK, there is still work to do in some areas, but things are working quite well at the moment,” he added.

Evans topped the championship ahead of Rally Guanajuato Mexico earlier this month which meant that, for the first time in his career, he opened the stages on the first full day. He ploughed the loose gravel roads, to leave a faster line and more grip for those following.

“I think overall I felt it went pretty OK. The team seemed to be pretty satisfied compared to the information they had in the past so my feeling was that the morning loop went as well as it could have. It can still be improved on a little but overall it’s good,” he explained.

A raft of final leg issues when Evans clouted the rear of the Yaris, damaged the steering after an impact with a rock and struggled with braking after damaging a front duct, meant he could not challenge for a third straight podium. He remained unperturbed.

“Fourth place after opening the road on the first day in Mexico is not so bad,” he added.

Video: Rally Sweden winner - Elfyn Evans