Tuesday | 12 Jan 2021

Fowler: Evans knows what he must do

Elfyn Evans starts the new FIA World Rally Championship season next week with a complete picture of what’s required to win the title, according to Toyota Gazoo Racing technical director Tom Fowler.

Evans’ hopes of a maiden title last year were denied in a final round crash. But Fowler sees the Welshman’s silver medal as the final piece of the puzzle and expects the pace which helped him lead the championship for three of the seven rounds to continue into this year.

“There’s no doubt Elfyn was disappointed with the way 2020 ended, but when you take a step back and look at it – he finished second to a driver who was winning his seventh world championship title,” said Fowler.

“Being runner-up to Séb [Ogier] was an amazing result when you think about it. Being at the front, chasing a championship brings a different pressure.

“We saw him and Scott [co-driver Martin] really handle that pressure well. I really hope this is the last piece of the jigsaw for them.”

Winning in Sweden and Turkey last year and running at the very front of the title fight has, according to Fowler, sharpened Evans further for the fight ahead.

“Elfyn learned a lot on what it means to go to every rally knowing you are one of the main contenders,” he continued.

“He’s been there at the start of seasons when he’s had good results and been there or thereabouts, but as the calendar moves on and you’re still in very good contention a lot of months in, the pressure in that situation is very different.”

Evans’ 2021 campaign begins at Rallye Monte-Carlo (21 - 24 January), where he will look forward to finishing the job of winning in the French Alps that he started last season. The Yaris driver led for half the 16 stages last year but slipped to third on the final day.

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